News | Published August 26 2019

Health leaders send warning letter to Johnson over no-deal

In a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson, health leaders from across the UK have warned that they are “unable to reassure patients” their health and care will not be affected by a no-deal Brexit.

Signed by the heads of 17 royal colleges and health charities across the UK, the letter was co-ordinated by the Royal College of Physicians and is signed by the leaders of the British Dental Association, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Kidney Care UK.

The letter stresses that these organisations have “significant concerns about shortages of medical supplies” and details that they were working with the government on “robust preparations.”

The letter also called for Matt Hancock, the Health and Social Care Secretary, to be invited onto the EU exit strategy committee chaired by Michael Gove.

Warning about the potential for “huge consequences on the lives of millions of people” if any issues occur, the letter stated: “The public rightly expects candour from us, and we are simply unable to reassure patients that their health and care won’t be negatively impacted by the UK’s exit from the EU.”

Beyond these wider issues, the letter focused specifically on concerns about the shortage of medical supplies. 

With some predicting long tailbacks at Dover and Calais, the letter argued that: “Delays at the border could exacerbate current supply issues and create the very real possibility that life-saving medication is delayed from making it across the Channel.”

Responding to the letter, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that the government was doing “everything appropriate to prepare to leave the EU on the 31st October, whatever the circumstance."

"Patients can be reassured that our plans should ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains interrupted and they will continue to receive the excellent standard of care they currently do” they added. 

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Authored by

George Salmon
Political Editor
August 26 2019

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