The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has welcomed the publication of the latest report by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on “The impact of leaving the European Union on health and social care in Scotland”.
The cross-party report has set out a range of findings following an inquiry on this subject, which the College contributed towards in evidence submitted earlier this year. The Committee’s findings include:
- Concerns the withdrawal from EURATOM could result in delays to the UK receiving medical isotopes used in the treatment of cancer and as a result, delays in treatment for patients.
- Concerns about the implications on research in Scotland post-Brexit, including the loss of future funding and the possible loss of Scotland's position at the forefront of research and innovation.
- UK wide common frameworks must exist in areas such as blood safety, data protection and organs and tissue. It is in no-one's interests for these to diverge in Scotland. These should mirror those of the EU as closely as possible. Parliament must have a role in scrutinising proposed common frameworks to safeguard the interests of patients, staff and stakeholders.
- The Scottish Government must continue to involve stakeholders in its decision-making processes.
- Public health powers must continue to be devolved to Scotland and not retained at UK level to ensure Scotland can continue to take decisions in the best interests of the country.
- Although immigration policy is largely outwith the Scottish Parliament's competence, post Brexit immigration law may impact on staffing in the NHS and social care in Scotland. A majority of the Committee also took the view that powers should be devolved to allow any shortages in skills in medical workforce to be addressed.
College President David Galloway said:
“I welcome the publication of this important report. We believe that Brexit is one of the greatest strategic issues currently facing the health sector across the UK, which is why the College has engaged with the issue at both Holyrood and Westminster over the past few months.
“A successful Brexit process would deliver positive outcomes for patients, clinicians and the wider NHS, but this outcome is still far from certain. That’s why it’s important that we inform this cross-party scrutiny of the Brexit process and how it may impact health and social care in Scotland and across the UK.”
The committee’s full report can be found here.
A copy of the evidence submitted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow can be found on our website.