The UK Alliance for International Health Policy

Supporting the healthcare sector as the UK leaves EU.
UK and EU flag

Who we are and what we do

Bringing together the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health organisations in the UK, the UK International Health Policy Alliance (UKA-IHP) aims to safeguard the interests of patients, and the healthcare and research they rely on, as the UK develops its future relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. 

The UKA-IHP is taking forward the work begun by the Brexit Health Alliance (BHA), set up after the Brexit referendum in 2016 to ensure that issues such as healthcare research, access to technologies and treatment of patients were addressed in the agreements between the UK and EU (the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) and Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA). The deals that were struck resolved many of the issues on which the BHA campaigned but left significant gaps that still need to be resolved. The UKA-IHP will continue to press for action to resolve these issues as the UK develops its ongoing relationship with the EU.

Now the UK has left the EU, it is looking outwards and seeking to forge new relationships with global partners, including but not limited to free trade agreements.  The Alliance’s members have strong links with and hold influential positions in international as well as pan-EU associations of health stakeholders. They are therefore critically placed to act as an authoritative and evidence-based voice to influence decision makers at national and international level in the interest of patients, service providers and the wider healthcare sector.

The Alliance is complementary and works in synergy with the Cavendish Coalition, which brings together a group of 37 health and social care organisations and focuses on addressing the impacts of the UK's exit from the EU on the health and social care workforce.

Who are the Alliance’s members?

The membership of the Alliance is composed of organisations from across the UK, with representation from the NHS, the health research community, patient groups, the voluntary and academic sectors, industry and public health.

Alliance members share a keen interest in the implications of European and international policy, legislation and events for the UK’s health sector. In addition to acting on behalf of their own members and the patients, customers and public who rely on their services, by participating in the Alliance members can collectively support and amplify each other's messaging.

The members of the Alliance (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Academy Of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Association of Medical Research Charities
  • Association of British Healthcare Industries
  • Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Association of UK University Hospitals
  • Bio Industry Association
  • Medical Schools Council
  • National Voices
  • NHS Confederation (and its Networks) 
  • NHS Providers
  • Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care
  • Richmond Group of Charities
  • Scottish NHS Chief Executive Group
  • Welsh NHS Confederation

What the Alliance is calling for

The agreements reached between the UK and EU left several issues unresolved. A positive new relationship between the UK and EU that benefits patients on both sides of the Channel/Irish Sea depends on resolving outstanding problems that leave the health system vulnerable.

In addition, the new agreements being negotiated between the UK and countries outside the EU pose new risks and opportunities for the health sector, whose interests are sometimes overlooked in trade deals.

The UK Alliance for International Health Policy, an alliance of organisations representing the NHS, patients, researchers, clinicians and healthcare industries, is calling on the UK government (and where appropriate, the EU and international partners) to take the following six steps to ensure that patients don’t lose out.

  • Avoid disruption in the supply of medicines, health technologies and other essential supplies, minimising trade barriers and building robust long term global supply chains in addition to effective contingency planning.

  • Minimise international regulatory barriers and leverage UK regulatory flexibilities, to enable UK patients and public to benefit from early access to innovative medicines, medical devices and diagnostics.

  • Maximise investment in collaborative clinical research and innovation, including clinical trials, and networking between UK organisations and their international and European counterparts.

  • Promote a high level of population health, co-ordinating with international and European partners to tackle cross-border health threats and maintain high standards of consumer protection.

  • Uphold the rights of UK and EU citizens to access healthcare across the UK/EU border according to the terms of the WA and TCA, and promote extension of reciprocal healthcare rights for citizens facilitating accessible and affordable care in agreements between the UK and non-EU countries.

  • Contribute to shaping free trade agreements between the UK and other countries that deliver the above aims, underpinned by robust provisions on e.g. mobility of persons, data sharing, intellectual property, and dispute resolution.

Brexit Health Alliance Publications

View all publications for the Brexit Health Alliance

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