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Brexit will harm both NHS and public's health say doctors as BMA backs Final Say campaign

Posted on 31/07/2018 by

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British Medical Association says failing to give patients an informed decision on their care would see doctors being struck off as study reveals widespread concern about harm to NHS from bad deal

UK doctors believe Brexit will be devastating to the NHS and the nation’s health, a study has found, as the body representing more than 160,000 medics and students backed The Independent’s call for a Final Say on the deal.

A comprehensive poll of nearly 1,200 UK doctors published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health on Monday found 83 per cent thought leaving the EU would hurt the NHS.

The average response from doctors when asked how serious the effect will be on the NHS, with zero being the worst impact imaginable and 10 being the best result, was a two.

“Doctors are amongst the best placed people to understand the impact of political decisions on the NHS,” the study’s lead author Dr Kate Mandeville, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said.

“On Brexit their opinion is very clear: Brexit is bad for the nation’s health.”

The Independent alongside MPs and organisations of all political stripes is arguing that the public should be given a vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal.

Nearly 400,000 people have signed the Final Say petition since it was launched less than a week ago.

The campaign has now been backed by the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents 160,000 UK doctors and around 20,000 students.

“If I made someone make this important a decision with the amount of information the government currently give us, I’d be struck off.”

Dr Dearden said the Final Say, which The Independent is calling for, is exactly what their membership voted in support of.

“If I say you’ve got a lump on your liver, then we do a scan and you’re riddled from top to bottom, the treatment changes. You can’t say we have to stick by that treatment decision now.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We want a deal with the EU that is good for the UK and good for the health service. That is why we have continued to work closely with the European Union to ensure there is minimal disruption to the NHS after we leave. 

“Alongside that, we are continuing to work with industry in the unlikely event of a no deal to ensure patients can continue to receive top quality care.”

Source: TheIndependant