You’re probably sick of hearing the word ‘Brexit’ by now, but with only a few weeks to go until we leave the EU and still a whole lot of uncertainty, we need to address how Brexit will effect the healthcare sector.
The British Medical Association stepped out last year to say a NO DEAL BREXIT would be catastrophic for the medical and healthcare industry. They have covered what they believe to be the implications of a no deal Brexit and are as follows…
- A no deal Brexit will cause real disruption for almost a million patients receiving treatment for rare diseases, as the UK would be excluded from the European Rare Disease Network
- Cause delays in diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients because the UK would have to source important radioisotopes from outside of EURATOM
- End reciprocal healthcare agreements which could disrupt patient care and increase insurance costs. If 190,000 UK state pensioners currently signed up to the S1 scheme and living within the EU return to the UK, it could cost the health services between £500m and £1bn a year
- Weaken the UK’s response to pandemics and increase the chances of diseases spreading as we lose partnerships with key EU bodies, such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Risk the return of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which could see doctors leaving the profession and patients having to travel miles to receive care
- See fewer doctors and other medical staff – at a time when there are already huge shortages of these roles – due to uncertainty over future immigration status and confusion around the mutual recognition of medical qualifications across the EU
So, how do you deal with the impending unknown that is Brexit? Well, we don’t have the answers, but based on what we are told we can give an idea of what would be and is being advised as best practice for private healthcare providers.
Many professionals and experts have said that panic stockpiling is quite unnecessary and will only need to be considered if no deal Brexit is a certain outcome for the UK. There are reports that the government have already contacted pharmaceutical firms to stockpile 6 weeks worth of medicine, but have reassured several times that this is simply a precaution and preparing for the very unlikely worst case scenario.
Recruitment is already an issue in healthcare, both private and national health service struggle to meet demands with the amount of staff they have. But will Brexit worsen this issue? Allegedly many healthcare firms have ALREADY stumped their recruitment process, as a precaution thanks to the uncertainty of Brexit. As well as a stall in recruitment, many doctors who are not native British are considering transferring out of the UK when we leave the EU in March, which would cause many issues. With the information already presented we predict the NHS recruitment issues to worsen before they get better in the immediate future, and private healthcare to follow a similar pattern.
PRIVATE HEALTHCARE BECOMING MORE ATTRACTIVE?
Due to the prediction of the NHS’ demise as Brexit takes hold of Britain, this could see the private healthcare sector boom. With reports of the NHS losing £350 million A WEEK after Brexit, these predicted stats are likely to encourage people to go down the private healthcare route. There is also rumour and talk of the fact that to get the country of a sticky spot, selling off the NHS could be the only option for the government to get us out of the red, something that the population of the UK does not want to see happen. Due to these reports you are likely to see an increase in private healthcare applications, something worth preparing for and something worth taking advantage of.
Overall, whatever we predict or over analyse, the sore fact about Brexit is the only thing that is certain is complete uncertainty. The private healthcare sector could as equally suffer as it could thrive in the grips of Brexit, and with that in mind it’s important to stay on top and organised when it comes to the finances and expenses of your private practice. If you’re unsure how Brexit could affect you or need somebody with expertise to handle your finances and accounts during these uncertain times, Accounts Unlocked For Doctors can help.