How will Brexit impact the NHS?

July 15, 2016
Nigel Cliffe

As well as the much talked about impact Brexit will have on the global financial market, what will the impact be in the UK, in areas such as our healthcare sector? Will Brexit impact the NHS?

With decreased immigration from EU nationals, an article by Reenita Das predicts that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 16,000 primary care physicians and in 2022 there could be nurse shortages of 100,000. It is a known fact that EU immigrants make up about 5% of the NHS staff; could the predicted decrease in immigration affect the quality of our healthcare? A lower quality of healthcare could deter people from moving to the UK and may also act as a contributing push factor for UK nationals to emigrate elsewhere.

As well as impacting individuals, Brexit could mean that UK companies will lose influence over the European Medicines Agency which would result in more spending and further depleting the NHS budget. A different impact Das mentions in her article, is that British companies seeking to conduct multi-country clinical trials will be forced to apply to each individual country – rather than the EU as a whole – increasing administrative and cost burden.

Such is the post-Brexit world we live in, the impacts on UK healthcare that have been predicted are still very much unknown, and with new leadership come new challenges. You can read the full article, in which Reenita Das explores this subject in greater depth here.