Concerns over healthcare qualifications post-Brexit

Royal college says permanent solution must be found to avert recruitment difficulties

Wednesday 11th September 2019

Food imports, medicine supplies and even civil unrest are just some of the warnings that have been issued about Brexit.

Now a group representing surgeons across the UK says medical qualifications are another area of concern.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) says its vital the UK and the EU agree to recognise healthcare qualifications from each jurisdiction after the UK departs.

Current plans are for mutual recognition of professional qualifications to continue until 2020, after which new legislation will be required.

RCSEd says this needs to be done on a permanent basis to ensure the health service can recruit the staff it needs.

Professor Michael Griffin, president of the RCSEd, said: “The NHS is under extreme pressure at the moment and one of the major causes is a recruitment crisis within the medical and nursing workforces.

“Teams are working harder than ever and it is vital to ensure that surgical teams are fully staffed in order to operate safely and ensure patient safety.

“A no-deal Brexit and along with it the potential for disruption to the recruitment of medical and nursing staff could be extremely damaging to the NHS and have a knock-on impact on patient waiting times for elective operations.

“The Government must ensure that the recruitment of European Economic Area medics and nurses is not hampered following Brexit.”