“I keep getting asked by my European colleagues what would happen if ‘we‘, the ‘British public‘, vote to leave the EU. To be honest with you I don’t know and have no idea how things will play out if we do. However, what I do know is that a Brexit vote on 23 June will have a major impact on NHS and on pwMS. The BMJ have been running a series of articles on the EU Referendum and what it means for the medical profession and the NHS. If you are interested I would suggest reading them; to access them simply put ‘BMJ‘ and ‘Brexit‘ into Google search engine and all the articles will come-up. They are very well written and make interesting, if not essential, reading.”
“I can conclude by saying that what has made Britain, and its ex-colonies, great have been their ability to look outward, beyond the horizon, and to have a world-view that is based on optimism, hope and a can-do attitude. The current Brexit debate is so lowbrow; it feeds on pessimism, fear and xenophobia. If you have MS, or you are and MS researcher, or you are involved with the care of people with MS there is little space in our lexicon for pessimism, fear and xenophobia. In my opinion a Brexit would be bad for the NHS and bad for pwMS. What do you think?”
Anne Gulland. What would the NHS look like if the UK left the EU? BMJ 2016;353:i3027.
…. Would there be more money in the NHS budget as a direct result of Brexit? ….
…. The Conservative MP Boris Johnson has been touring the United Kingdom with his fellow Vote Leavers in a battle bus emblazoned with the words, “We send the EU £350m a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead.” Technically, that figure is correct, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies, but it does not take into account the rebate the UK receives from the European Union or money that doesn’t go through government departments, such as EU grants to universities. The UK’s net contribution to the EU will average £8bn a year over the next five years, the institute has calculated….
…. Brexit campaigners have also pointed to the potential drain on NHS resources presented by the large numbers of European migrants who may come to the UK in coming years, from Turkey, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, and Montenegro, all of which want to join the EU….
….. But NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, has sounded the alarm over the potential of a post-Brexit recession and its effects on the NHS. He spoke to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show just two days after figures showed that the NHS in England ran up a deficit of £2.45bn. He said, “It has been true for the 68 years of the NHS’s history that when the British economy sneezes the NHS catches a cold. This would be a terrible time for that to happen, at just the time that the NHS is going to need that investment.”….
Would it be harder for the NHS to employ EU doctors?
…… The latest figures from the General Medical Council show that there are currently just over 30 000 doctors working in the UK whose primary medical qualification is from another EU or European Economic Area country—11% of the total number of doctors….
Would increased privatisation of the NHS be more or less likely?
…… But Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says that the risk to the NHS comes from within the UK. “As is apparent since the passage of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act … the risk is one arising from domestic politics rather than any agreements being made in Brussels.”….