"Among the very many strong and positive reasons for voting Remain and keeping the UK in the EU, one of the most compelling reasons for stopping Brexit on the domestic front is that it would mean disaster for the NHS.
We know that the NHS is already struggling with staff shortages, problems with pharmacy supplies and a drop in collaborative health research and clinical trials across Europe, and that the European Medicines Agency, which protects public and animal health, has relocated from London to Amsterdam because of Brexit.
The British Medical Association, representing all British doctors, formally agreed at its annual representative meeting in 2018 that Brexit poses a major threat to the NHS and to patients.
The BMA’s own magazine last month outlined the impact on the NHS of the fact that ‘thousands of doctors who qualified in another European country have suffered crippling uncertainty’.
The Royal College of Nursing has called on its members to support a second referendum on any final Brexit deal, warning that “a bad Brexit deal will jeopardise safe patient care”. And looking beyond into social care, inextricably linked with NHS performance, we learn this week that one of the UK’s largest providers of social care (Four Seasons Health Care) has collapsed into administration, citing Brexit and a slump in recruitment from EU countries since 2016 as a contributory cause.
For those of us arguing the case for Remain in the forthcoming European Elections, the threat posed by Brexit to the NHS is clear and we must ensure that it is recognized.
In addition, the likelihood of further austerity caused by any form of Brexit, when child poverty and food poverty have already risen over the last decade, will further negatively impact on people’s health.
We are already seeing evidence that after years of increasing life expectancy in the UK, it began to fall again from 2014-19, many believe as a direct result of austerity and cuts to health and social care.
During the EU election campaigns we must remind voters of the risks posed by Brexit and underline that in order to save our NHS and improve people’s health, we must vote to Remain"
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