BMA urges clarity for health profession in wake of Brexit  Comments Off on BMA urges clarity for health profession in wake of Brexit  

BMA urges clarity for health profession in wake of Brexit   

The British Medical Association (BMA) is today calling for urgent clarity around the future of doctors currently working in the UK who may otherwise move to work outside the European Union because of Brexit.

Speaking at an event at the European Parliament today (23 May), Dr Kitty Mohan, BMA council member and President of the European Junior Doctor Association, will warn that freedom of movement for doctors, which is currently facilitated by Directive 2005/36/EC, has been essential for doctors to be able to provide high quality medical care across the continent. It is vital any new immigration model is flexible enough to allow for the movement of doctors.

A recent BMA survey of EEA (European Economic Area) doctors working in the UK found that almost half are considering leaving following the EU referendum result, with almost one in five having already made solid plans to relocate elsewhere.

Dr Mohan will also raise the need for maintaining a mutual system of recognising professional qualifications after Brexit. There are estimated to be around 750 EU medical students in U.K. schools who are facing uncertain futures about their ability to practice in their home countries when they qualify after March 2019. The BMA will call for urgent assurances on the status of these students both within the UK and in their home countries.

The event, hosted by the BMA and Wajid Khan MEP, will also explore other health challenges posed by Brexit, including how Brexit affects the European medical profession and medical research, and what healthcare collaboration could look like in a post-Brexit Ireland.

Dr Kitty Mohan, BMA council member, said:

“The challenges posed to our health services by Brexit are considerable and though there has been some progress, there is still much uncertainty around what the immigration implications will be for doctors once the UK has left the European Union.

“Today we are calling on negotiators on both sides of the table to urgently address these issues to provide certainty for doctors, health services and patients across Europe.

“It is vital that any future immigration system is flexible enough to ensure that our health services can recruit and retain doctors and researchers, and that the professional qualifications of medical staff continue to be recognised in the UK and in the EU.

“The future of Europe’s healthcare is dependent upon the continued professional migration of doctors and finding a solution to this should be a priority during negotiations. While Brexit will fundamentally alter both the UK and the EU, it absolutely must not threaten patient safety.”

Dr Jacques de Haller, President of the CPME, said:

“We want to make it clear to negotiators on all sides that Brexit cannot be permitted to threaten the European medical profession nor the patients it serves. European doctors will continue to advocate for a solution which safeguards quality of care and a continued knowledge transfer in the profession throughout Europe.”


Notes to editors 

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. The BMA has published a set of briefings about Brexit and health. You can read them here.
  2. Event programme and speakers:

Keeping Europe Healthy: Brexit and the European Medical Profession (6.30PM – 8PM, 23 May 2018)

Hosted by Wajid Khan MEP

Brexit and the European medical profession: Dr Jacques de Haller, President of the CPME

The pan-European medical workforce:  Dr Kitty Mohan, President of the EJD

The Irish Question: the medical profession and healthcare collaboration in a post-Brexit Ireland: Prof Trevor Duffy, Chair IMO (Irish Medical Organisation) International Affairs Committee

Medical Research in a post-Brexit Europe: Miguel Reis Ferreira, Clinical Research Fellow,

Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Trust

Q&A session