Brexit May Have ‘Gravest of Consequences’ for Health: UK Lawmaker

Posted: October 07th 2019


An interesting view of Brexit and health issues from Canada – this story tells us:

Britain's looming exit from the EU carries real risks that medicines and healthcare supplies will be delayed, the UK's public spending watchdog said on Friday, and an influential lawmaker said a no-deal Brexit may have the "gravest of consequences".

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government has taken some steps to manage the risks, the National Audit Office (NAO) said in a report, there is still significant work to be done. 

Lawmaker Meg Hillier, who chairs parliament's public accounts committee, said the report was "deeply concerning".

The health ministry "still doesn't know whether all stockpiles are in place", she said, has no idea whether social care providers such as nursing homes for the sick and elderly are ready, and is not sure whether freight capacity needed for medical imports will be in place on time.

"If (the) government gets this wrong, it could have the gravest of consequences," Hillier said in a statement about the NAO report. She added that as head of the committee, she had already seen "countless examples of deadlines missed and government failing".

Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the EU with or without a deal by Oct. 31 - increasing the chance of a sudden departure that will bring trade tariffs and customs checks with the continent for the first time in decades.

The risk is acute for health and social care services, as well as for the pharmaceutical industry, with 37 million packs of medicines imported into Britain from Europe every month.