28 February 2018

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) joins with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) in reiterating its call for an independent health impact assessment of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Formerly known as the TPPA, this free trade agreement involves 11 countries in the Pacific region, including New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Viet Nam.

“We want to remind Trade Minister David Parker of his undertakings when in Opposition,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock. “As we have said repeatedly, before this proceeds any further we need a clear understanding of the possible effects of the CPTPP on current and future policy settings and directions, to ensure that our right to achieve our legitimate public policy objectives—protection of public health, safety and the environment—is protected.

“We accept there might be financial benefits for the country, but the NZMA believes wider issues need to be considered, including affordable access to medicines, and public health policies especially around tobacco and alcohol control. To do this we must have—and make public—an independent assessment focused on these aspects.”