Case study on the implications of committing healthcare services in Kenya under GATS

The World Trade Organisation [WTO] deals with rules governing trade among its 144 members. It has binding trade agreements2 that members’ states have agreed to comply with in their relationship with one another. A trade agreement, for example, by the name of General Agreement on Trade in Services3 [GATS] deals purely with trade in services sector. This is just one amongst many other WTO’s trade agreements such as those that deal with Agriculture, intellectual property rights, etc. GATS has a potential of far reaching consequences on the citizens of the world since it incorporates and brings to the fore areas that were never thought before as tradable (i.e. health, water, educational services) and hence to be under the dictates of the WTO rules and system. Some of these basic services are within the realms of government control, management, and support.

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