How Brexit will hit the NHS

Posted September 29, 2017

Boris Johnson’s Big Lie about £350 million a week for the NHS is part of the fantasy Brexit peddled to the British people who care deeply about the service. The facts about #Brexit and the NHS are quite different.

Any Brexit at all will damage the NHS. The damage to tax revenues, the value of Sterling and the vast costs of new customs facilities and the army of civil servants we are going to need to do the jobs the EU ‘bureaucracy’ has done for us, matching grants to farmers, universities and so forth will gobble up the UK’s contribution before the NHS gets a look in.

But even worse than all this is the catastrophe that ending EU migration, as the Government seems to want to do, will create for the NHS. Figures analysed by the news organisation ‘Politico’ (a US owned ‘real news’ outfit that does facts). Show how the UK relys on doctors and nurses from Europe to keep the NHS running. You can read the full article here, but for now just take a look at these charts:

They show the UK taking the lion’s share of the doctors and nurses working outside their own country in the EU. I’ve met many of these doctors and nurses and you know what, they really believe in what the NHS stands for, love working for it and pay tax. What’s more, these dedicated staff cannot simply be replaced by people from the UK. It takes years to train doctors. We should certainly train more, but nobody seriously believes that we can do that overnight. Nursing, sadly, is not the attractive profession we might like to think. Hard work, long hours but pay that can easily be beaten in many other, easier jobs.

Those uncomfortable truths mean we just won’t be able to fill these rolls without overseas recruitment – and if that doesn’t mean the EU it will mean Africa or South East Asia instead. So we will end up recruiting people through a system of visa and work permits, English tests and all kinds of other bureaucracy that will mean extra cost for the NHS and all sorts of skills gaps and staff shortages.  

The Tory Government needs to come clean and Labour should take note and think very hard here. If Labour is serious about being a Government in waiting then it will look at these figures and understand very quickly that Brexit will inevitably make its plans to revitalise the NHS impossible to deliver.

On this and much else the country should get to grips with reality and re-think before it is too late.