Brexit Health Alliance calls for effective planning for no-deal Brexit

pharmafile | August 22, 2018 | News story | Research and Development Brexit Health Alliance, Labour, NHS, brexit, no-deal 

Niall Dickson, co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance has called for immediate comprehensive and effective plans for a no deal Brexit.

Dickson said in a statement that “The NHS, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries and the entire medical research community remain deeply concerned about the risks to patients, should there be no-deal. It ought to be possible to manage those risks but we do need effective planning and comprehensive guidance, and we need this now.

We have been working with the government for some time on this and look forward to new guidance which we expect to be published later this week.

Above all it is vital that the government provides assurance to patients that they will be protected whatever happens. The guidance must also support NHS organisations as they plan to mitigate any hazards from an abrupt dislocation from the EU.

Everyone delivering frontline services urgently needs clarity about their responsibilities, and what support and co-ordination they can expect from the UK government.

The Brexit Health Alliance, representing bodies from across the healthcare sector, will continue to work with the UK Government to make sure that the supply of medicines and equipment, medical research, public health and other issues are properly addressed in this and future guidance.

It will also be important that arm’s length bodies in England as well as the devolved administrations throughout the UK are involved with and able to shape national and operational guidance and support.”

The call has come after the European Union issued a 16 page document outlining preparations that need to be put in place ahead of Brexit. The document warns that Brexit will cause “significant disruption for European citizens, businesses and administrations” as it states that in the case of a no deal Brexit, “there will be no transition period and EU law will cease to apply to and in the United Kingdom as of March 2019”.

Similarly in a letter leaked to media, the Chief Executive of the membership and trade organisation for professionals working in the NHS, NHS Providers warned that the NHS is unprepared for Brexit.

Meanwhile the Labour opposition criticised the lack of planning and opacity of the process. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathon Ashworth said, “It’s incredible that there remains so much uncertainty for the NHS more than two years after the Brexit vote. We need urgent guidance from the health secretary about what action he’s going to take to protect NHS patients from this botched Tory Brexit.”

Louis Goss

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