Brexit a 'grave danger' to NHS, doctors warn

PUBLISHED: 14:05 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:05 19 December 2018

The NHS faces great danger from Brexit, doctors have warned

$image.copyright

Brexit poses a "grave danger" to the NHS and is distracting attention away from the urgent issues facing the service in what could be the "toughest winter yet", senior doctors have warned.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

The British Medical Association is marking the 100 days until Brexit milestone by repeating its call for a second referendum.

The doctors' union is also warning that with the country is facing what could be the "toughest winter yet", the government and NHS need to "urgently" outline plans to tackle seasonal pressures.

Its call follows the decision to delay publishing the NHS long-term plan which will set out how the service will invest the £20.5bn a year by 2023-4 promised in the budget.

The BMA said Brexit would affect all areas of the NHS including workforce, access to medicines and radioisotopes, and health security.

A survey by the union found more than a third of EU doctors were considering leaving the UK.

The BMA said that with EU doctors making up 10% of the medical workforce, this could pose a "real risk" to patient safety.

The union also warned Brexit could make it harder to access new medicines or vital radioisotopes used for cancer treatment and diagnosis of disease

It said only by remaining a member of the European Union could Britain continue to have access to the same benefits.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the only certainty about Brexit was how "disastrous" it would be for the health service.

He said: "The only thing that is certain, is how disastrous leaving the EU will be for the NHS, its workforce, its patients and the health of the country as a whole - and that no type of Brexit can ever offer the same benefits we currently have.

"Given the very real health threats that Brexit brings, the British public must be given a final say on any deal in a second referendum."

Dr Nagpaul said the "political chaos" at Westminster meant that the country's most urgent healthcare needs were not being addressed despite winter rapidly approaching.

He added: "We were assured that the government was going to lay out its long-term plan for the NHS before Christmas, but the Brexit stalemate means this has now been delayed until at least the new year.

"We are on the brink of what we know will be weeks of overcrowding in hospitals, patients waiting many hours on trolleys and staff pushed to the limit of their physical and emotional wellbeing - the annual winter crisis.

"The shambles surrounding Brexit will mean that the NHS, patients and staff will suffer this winter as the government is diverted from addressing the very real crisis on their doorstep."

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy