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Brexit could be a problem for NHS, says report

Will Brexit have adverse affect on people’s health?

Whatever type of Brexit deal the government finally negotiates there will be major risks to health and the health service, says the Health Policy Review.

A report from the University of Oxford says there is a major risk to NHS staff. It adds that it is increasingly difficult for health and social care to find staff from within the UK.

The reports says that in 2017 60,000 people from the EU work in the NHS and 90,000 work in adult social care. London and the Southeast would be most affected by changes in employment as they have the highest concentrations of EU workers.

With the loss of EU public health policies, the UK could become a target for the tobacco industry and so worsen the nation’s health, said the report. Health could also deteriorate for other reasons, such as a drop in air quality if EU environmental laws were lost.

Brexit could also mean a loss of funding to the NHS, which has received €3.5bn (£3.12bn) from the European Investment bank since 2001 for public private partnerships.

Research would also be at risk as the EU funds 17% of research in British universities, said the report.

Legislation surrounding medicines could also change once EU law no longer applied, said the authors.

Further information

Cancer Research UK: Brexit will have large impact on health and NHS, say researchers

OnMedica: Brexit poses major risk to almost every part of the NHS