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The impact of Brexit on the UEMS - a speech from the last Council

Dear delegates,


please read below some extracts from the speech that Prof. Andrew Rowland - Head of the UEMS British delegation - gave at the UEMS Council in Tel Aviv regarding the consequences of the incoming Brexit process.





At the last Council meeting I had the opportunity to talk about the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union - a decision taken by a majority of those people who voted in the referendum (...)
No one at UEMS Council knows exactly what will happen over the course of the next two years of negotiations as the UK prepares to leave the European Union; no one at UEMS Council knows exactly what difficulties or indeed opportunities may lie ahead; and absolutely no one at UEMS Council knows exactly what the future will look like without the UK in the EU.
But what we cannot do at UEMS Council is to allow "Brexit" to damage the relationships between members of the UEMS family.

Whilst, of course, the "Brexit" negotiations will be carried out between our respective governments, not people in this room, and between long-standing allies, the same principle should be applied here to the medical profession in order to ensure that the UK's withdrawal from the EU does not result in any collateral damage to our patients' health. (...)
The EU also recognises that "flexible and imaginative solutions" are required to secure the existing provision of cross-border healthcare in Ireland. Whilst this is welcome, it is not the "beginning of the end" but very much the "end of the beginning" as powerful, well-funded, sectors are also working to secure their interests.
The European medical profession must continue to work as one to ensure that its interests, and those of the patients it serves, remain at the top of the negotiators' list of priorities. (...)
The issues at play are complex, whether they are residency rights; access to the labour market, pension or social security rights; or access to education. We know that a significant number of European Economic Area doctors working in the NHS are considering leaving the UK in the light of the "Brexit" referendum, and if this occurs it would seriously impact patient care across the UK and only increase what are often already unacceptable delays for treatment. (...)

Mr President; members of Council; by continuing to work together as a family of European Medical Organisations and within the UEMS family itself, then I am confident that both the UK's exit deal as well as the arrangements concerning our future relationship with the European Union 27 will recognise, and reflect, the fact that the medical profession is unique and must be elevated above simple politics.

Colleagues, whatever happens politically; whatever happens in the media; and whatever happens to public opinions regarding "Brexit" I'm am pleased to reaffirm the UK delegation's commitment to working with our European Partners to safeguard the future of the European Medical Profession and, crucially, the patients we serve.






Please find also below an extract from the vision of Dr. Jacques de Haller - President of The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), as included in the CPME periodical newsletter (March 2017).


"To provide stability to these individuals, doctors and academic staff from across Europe should be granted permanent residence in their current location. This is also important given the collaborative nature of most medical research and the key role medical academics play in educating and training doctors and other healthcare professionals. Equally, it is essential that UK researchers are able to gain experience in other EU nations.
Both measures, the possibility of permanent residence and the freedom of movement, are essential for continued collaboration in medical research, and ensure that optimal cooperation between UK and EU aca-demics continues to help shape the European research and innovation agenda

Last updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017