The head of Scotland’s GPs has voiced his concerns over the serious long-term damage Brexit looks set to inflict on health and social care systems across the UK.
Andrew Buist, chair of the BMA Scotland’s GP Committee (SGPC) said that EU nationals who work in Scotland’s healthcare services should not feel they have to leave their jobs because of Brexit.
Commenting ahead of his speech at the GP Committee UK Conference in Belfast later today, in which he is expected to say similar to those attending, Dr Buist said: “Brexit, and the potential devastating impact it will have on the health and social care workforce and availability of medicines, is a problem we have no control over. This will be particularly acute in the event that we leave the EU without a deal.
“GPs and nurses from across Europe have come to Scotland to care for our population – they are part of our communities. They are our valued colleagues. It is simply wrong that they should feel they no longer belong here or should be planning to leave as a result of Brexit. We must do what we can to encourage them to stay."
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He added: “In this matter, we welcome the support of the Scottish Government. As well as supporting our endeavours with EU nationals, the Scottish Government has started approving applications for the GP premises sustainability loan scheme, which aims to ease the financial burden associated with owning practice premises and, I hope, in turn will help to improve recruitment and retention across Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has shown a genuine commitment to tackling the serious GP recruitment and retention issues, and we will continue to work together to make being a GP in Scotland more attractive, with income stability, reduction in business risk, and reduced inappropriate workload.”
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The BMA has long voiced concerns over Brexit, and has been working to safeguard the future of the medical profession and the patients we serve following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016.