The impact of Brexit on the UEMS - a speech from the last Council
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
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
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
"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
Last updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017