We know that Brexit will be bad for our NHS. We know that 83% of doctors agree. And we know that patients and the public are worried for the future of their healthcare.
What we need now is to make a statement, to tell the Government that we don't want to leave the EU, for the sake of the UK's health.
We plan to have hundreds or even thousands of health professionals' signatures when we publish this letter in the media at any time ahead of the People's Vote to Save the NHS rally on 15th September. Will you help us get there?
And if you have any stories about your experiences with Brexit and healthcare, please share them with us here.
N.B. please use the name and title you would like to appear on the letter
An open letter to the Government
We are doctors, midwives, nurses, researchers and others working in the NHS and health services across this country, and we demand a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.
There is not a single man, woman or child in this country who doesn’t have a personal connection to the NHS. From birth to death the NHS is there for us all, but the threat from Brexit means we can no longer take that for granted.
The British people have been misled on what Brexit will mean for the NHS. Far from £350 million more a week we are already seeing a staffing crisis and funding cuts – and that’s before Brexit has even happened.
New facts have come to light which show Brexit is already damaging the NHS. As nurses, midwives, doctors, professionals, scientists and researchers who work in our National Health Service we demand a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal because:
- Brexit’s impact on the NHS staffing puts patient safety at risk. With drastic frontline staff shortages, we need everyone we can get. Applications from health professionals from EU countries are already down, and those already here are leaving. The extra barriers created by Brexit will mean fewer new recruits, leaving current staff dangerously overstretched and putting patients at risk.
- Brexit will mean less money available for the NHS. Brexit will cut the amount of money the Government is able to spend overall- In fact, just the fallen pound has already cost the NHS around £2bn in extra costs for overseas supplies and UK citizens' medical treatments. Far from the promised £350 million extra per week for the NHS, every conceivable version of Brexit will result in a smaller economy than we’d have if we stayed in, meaning less money for all public services including the health service.
- Brexit will hold us back in developing medicines and cutting-edge treatments. Leaving, or downgrading our role in Euratom, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Horizon Europe and other alliances reduces our access to obtain and develop medicines and cutting-edge treatments quickly and reliably.
This is not a party-political point but whatever Party you support – or none – it is clear that if the NHS buckles further under this strain, the pressure for privatisation will steadily grow.
Brexit is not a panacea to the NHS crisis. It is no longer even a placebo. These facts weren’t on the side of a bus - but the public have a right to know. And ultimately, if it looks as though the cost of Brexit is irreparable damage to our health service, people have every right to ask whether that is too high a price to pay.
That is why we scientists, clinicians and NHS staff demand a People’s Vote.