The authors of a report on the NHS have warned Brexit could be “potentially catastrophic” for the organisation.
A group of researchers from a variety of instructions like Oxford University and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine came together to produce the report.
It has been published in The Lancet medical journal and suggests it will be difficult for the UK to recruit enough staff members to cover NHS and social care.
It came to this conclusion by wargaming three different Brexit scenarios and examining their impact on the NHS.
The paper claimed a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit – a clean break from the European Union – could have major consequences in terms of financing and licensing of medicinal products, among other factors.
A failure to negotiate a deal, falling back on World Trade Organisation rules, was thought to have a strong impact on the NHS.
Even a so-named ‘soft’ Brexit – where the UK retained single market access but restricted freedom of movement – would be likely to impact the country’s health care, according to the research.
The researchers have expressed the hope their paper will motivate the UK negotiating team into making healthcare a priority in the discussions, so the consequences were not felt by those who are sick or vulnerable.