It’s not often that I feel the need to express a political view here, but today the UK has voted to leave the EU. I would like as a result to express my solidarity with those people who have emigrated from EU member states to the UK and thank them for their contribution to the betterment of our society and hope that they will stay particularly as their contribution is vital to our NHS. In a letter sent to the Times on the 14th. of June the former presidents and chairs of the UK’s Royal Colleges and members of the British Medical Association set out why, if we care about the future of the NHS, we need to remain in the EU. I can only add my voice to this.
“Rather than ruining the NHS, as some have claimed, immigrants play a large part in running it. Without the 10 per cent of doctors and 5 per cent of nurses who come from other EU countries, not to mention even larger numbers of care workers, the NHS would face severe staff shortages.
Moreover, far from being strangled by bureaucratic regulations, we have benefited from Europe-wide action on matters such as new infectious diseases (including the zika virus), environmental pollution, climate change, and antibiotic resistance — all of which are public health threats that do not stop at the Channel.
We benefit from rapid access to new medicines because of the European Medicines Agency, based in this country. In addition, about 20 per cent of our medical research is now funded by the EU; we receive considerably more back from the EU for this than we pay in. If we leave we can expect to lose a good proportion of this to other EU countries.
Finally, rather than the discredited £350 million a week that Leave campaigners say would be redirected to the NHS, it seems far more likely that there would be an immediate large decline in national income, which can only worsen the existing financial crisis that faces the NHS.”
Unfortunately these fears may now be realised.
So what else this week….. I guess the most important message this week came from both the RCN and the BMA who both had major conferences this week and both pointed out that the reduction in Hospital beds across the country is now gone to far resulting in a risk of harm to more patients as a consequence. For more on this story see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36579900
To see why we should be worried and find out the real figures got to http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Hospital-Care/Beds/