BMA warns no deal Brexit will risk outbreaks of infectious diseases

The British Medical Association has been warning about how a ‘no deal’ Brexit could damage health in the UK:

The doctors union warned in a new briefing paper shared with The Independent on Thursday that crashing out of the EU without a deal will leave the UK more vulnerable to outbreaks of deadly infectious diseases.

It says that the UK’s ability to coordinate responses to emerging threats, such as the current outbreak of measles or seasonal flu, will be seriously undermined, making it harder to stop infections spreading across borders…

All parties will be weakened if the UK’s quits key EU bodies such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in March 2019, the BMA said. Without a deal this will create “considerable uncertainty about the UK’s ability to coordinate pandemic preparedness”: these are risks that should be put to the UK public, it said.

Added to this is the failure to settle payment arrangements for UK citizens needing treatment in the EU which could prevent them accessing care immediately and “increase the likelihood of the spread of disease”.

The BMA has added:

Whilst we acknowledge there has been some progress in the negotiations, the challenges and the risks to the NHS posed by Brexit remain considerable. As raised in our Brexit briefings, there is too much uncertainty around the implications of Brexit for patients, doctors and health services.

Given what we now know about the potential impact of Brexit on the NHS and the nation’s health, and the dangers a ‘no deal’ Brexit presents for the NHS, the BMA’s ARM voted in June to change our policy to opposition to Brexit.

All of which is a good prompt to remind you of the key anti-Brexit petitions.

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