A popular question on the minds of the United Kingdom currently is how Brexit is going to affect the National Healthcare Service (NHS.) Back in June 2016, the majority of the nation opted out of the EU. But healthcare specialists were left questioning what the future of Britain’s healthcare holds for them. With over one million employees and a minimum annual spend of £100 billion, the NHS is England’s largest employer. But, what does this mean?
For decades, the NHS has faced many shortages in clinical workforce, relying on healthcare professionals from overseas to fill in these gaps. However, the UK’s post-brexit future is unclear on the employment of trained overseas professionals. England will always be reliant on overseas trained staff.
Possible solutions to this issue have been discussed politically, for example by Secretary Of State Jeremy Hunt. The Government has announced a further 1500 places for medical students in England’s medical universities. Consequently, this will be over a ten year period. Is this a rapid enough process to support the NHS? Can the NHS survive without the future support of overseas healthcare professionals?
Also, a second solution that the Home Office has announced is that an extra £100 million will be invested into recruiting more foreign doctor. But, this also leaves remaining unanswered questions. Is this enough to save the NHS for the nation?
In July 2017, over 1000 nurses joined the healthcare system from the EU. In comparison to that statistic, only 46 nurses enrolled themselves in the system this year. With a 96% fall, this shows that Brexit is going to have a huge impact on England’s NHS services.
Due to the huge impact of Brexit, a lot of NHS services are resorting to privatisation. Privatisation brings several advantages and disadvantages towards the healthcare system. One disadvantage of privatisation is that if prices of medicine rise, then the cost of healthcare will rise for English citizens. Will the country be able to afford privatisation? On the other hand, an advantage would be that patients can have a choice of where they want to be treated and what they want to be treated for. Privatisation carries controversial reasons, which as a healthcare system and nation needs to be deeply discussed.
After extensive research, there is still no conclusion to what will happen to the National Health Service post-Brexit. However, Integrated Care Group would to like to know your thoughts. Please email the team as we would love to hear from you.