Following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK now has until the end of 2020 to define its future relationship with the EU. The Brexit Health Alliance publishes its five key asks to ensure that health and care are prioritised in the government's negotiations with the EU.
The Brexit Health Alliance is concerned that the safety and health of patients and citizens could be overlooked during the negotiations over the next 11 months and has produced a briefing and summary to highlight why time is of the essence and health must be a priority in the future relationship negotiations.
The briefing suggests that if partnerships with bodies, such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, are lost or diluted, it could weaken the UK’s response to health threats and increase the chances of diseases spreading. The Brexit Health Alliance is calling for rapid agreements in the forthcoming negotiations, as early as possible, to address five key areas:
- Patient safety – Shared regulatory frameworks to continue for medicines and medical technologies across the UK and EU, so that patients are guaranteed a high level of safety, rapid access to new treatments, and public health and wellbeing are protected.
- Access to medicines and medical devices - Continued cooperation in import and export of medicines and medical technologies for frictionless trade of health products across UK/EU borders.
- Citizen’s rights to treatment - UK and EU citizens to continue to benefit from rights to healthcare in any of the EU member states, ensuring simple and safe access to treatment when working, living or travelling, at local, affordable cost.
- Furthering medical research - Continued participation in a Europewide system that encourages cooperation, innovation and research to continually improve patients’ options for treatment. Continued UK/EU collaboration is vital to retain Europe’s reputation as an attractive destination for cutting-edge research.
- Public health – Continued close coordination between the UK and EU on public health and wellbeing. Participation in key EU data sharing platforms and alert systems to exchange information and early warnings about health threats to ensure maximum preparedness to tackle them.