5 Nov 2018 01:12 PM
FM: 'UK Government must come clean on Brexit cost to NHS'.
The UK Government must come clean on the mounting costs of Brexit to the heath sector, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister said with Brexit less than six months away, the Scottish Government is doing all it can to plan for, and mitigate, the expected damage Brexit will cause the Scottish NHS.
Speaking ahead of her speech at the National Cancer Research Institute Conference, the First Minister said:
“We are working to beat cancer, and through the Scottish Cancer Strategy we’re investing more than £100 million over five years to improve the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of those affected by cancer.
“Sadly, this task will be made harder by the impact of Brexit on our NHS. Far from the £350 million extra a week promised to the NHS from Brexit, there is growing evidence of mounting costs.
“It’s now time the UK Government came clean on the scale of the cost to our health service. The Prime Minister failed to guarantee there would be no interruption in medicine supplies after Brexit. This came after UK ministers published a truncated tender, at a cost of tens of millions of pounds, associated with medicines stockpiling.
"Cancer Research UK said last month ‘a No Deal Brexit is clearly the worst outcome for cancer patients and research in both the UK and EU27’.
“This is backed up as cancer experts have warned that ending freedom of movement could be catastrophic for research, which risks undermining patient cancer care.
“There is no good Brexit for our health service. Even with a deal we face a loss of millions of pounds in research funding which could hit clinical trials.
“The best way to avoid this damage to the health service is to remain in the EU. But short of that, the UK must stay in the Customs Union and Single Market – which is around eight times the size of the UK market alone – to minimise the damage of Brexit and ensure we continue to have access to the high quality frontline and research staff we need.”