I understand people’s concern about the UK signing a world Treaty on healthcare that could make running the NHS difficult or otherwise constrain good UK policy choices. There are a lot of false rumours flying around. As there is currently no draft it is not possible to say much on the wisdom or dangers of this particular idea.
The WHO has set up an International Negotiating Board to try to draft a binding Protocol over future responses to pandemics. The timetable is according to the WHO as below.
- The INB will host its second round of public consultation hearings on 16-17 June 2022.
- The INB will meet by 1 August 2022 to discuss and consider a working draft treaty.
- The INB will deliver a progress report to the 76th World Health Assembly in 2023.
- The INB will submit its outcome for consideration by the 77th World Health Assembly in 2024.
Those wishing to influence or oppose this development should respond to the consultation. I have already made it clear I do not favour the UK signing a Treaty but we should take good ideas from WHO and implement them as appropriate.