Key Organisations Warn of Brexit Threat to NHS

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Tuesday March 13 2018

Staff shortages, research, access to treatment and power grab concerns have been raised.

Brexit poses “grave threats” to Scotland’s NHS, the SNP has said – after a number of leading healthcare organisations expressed concerns about the impact of Tory proposals to leave the EU ahead of giving evidence at Holyrood’s Health Committee today.

In written evidence submitted to Holyrood’s Health Committee ahead of the meeting, Cancer Research UK, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Law Society of Scotland, Community Pharmacy Scotland and the Association of Medical Research Charities – which represents groups including the British Heart Foundation and the Wellcome Trust – each stated concerns with Tory Brexit plans and the impact that this will have on healthcare - including on the continued access to lifesaving treatment for cancer patients, the ability to attract vital staff in our NHS, funding and access to clinical research projects, continued participating in the EHIC scheme, and opposition to the Tories’ power grab.

Cancer Research UK also singled out the Scottish Government’s action to support research activities – and called on the UK government to offer more detail on how medical research will be supported.

Commenting, MSP Jenny Gilruth, who sits on Holyrood’s Health Committee, said:

“The Tories think they can do anything they want to Scotland and get away with it but their hard Brexit strategy is now causing concern throughout the health and social care sector – and clearly poses a grave threat to our NHS.

“Just last week, experts from the Nuffield Trust, ASH Scotland and the BMA told our committee of the threat to health services in Scotland if the NHS is put up for grabs as part of future trade deals.

“And this week we have more warnings from Cancer Research UK, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Community Pharmacy Scotland and others over our ability to attract highly skilled nurses and doctors to work in our NHS after Brexit, and our ability to participate in ground-breaking, cross-border medical research.

“The continued lack of detail over what will replace our membership of key organisations such as Euratom, which ensure cancer patients can access lifesaving treatments readily and swiftly, is utterly shameful.

“And this evidence also shows that it isn’t just the Scottish and Welsh Governments that are concerned about the great Tory power grab – as frontline health sector organisations have also warned the Tories against taking powers over reciprocal healthcare away from Scotland after Brexit – health is a devolved area and it is only right that it stays that way. 

“The Tories need to wake up to the reality of how damaging their Brexit plans are for our health service – they cannot keep ignoring the experts.”



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