Johnstone highlights Brexit threat to Scottish health and social care

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, is warning of serious damage to Scotland’s health and social care services, pointing to evidence being given to Holyrood’s Health Committee inquiry into Brexit.

Submissions to the Committee, due to take evidence in its inquiry on Tuesday (6 Mar), include:

  • Ash Scotland: “There is the risk that the UK could be more vulnerable to the threat of tobacco industry lobbying, particularly in a hard Brexit focused on deregulation.”
  • Scottish Care: “There are a number of significant risks to health and social care provision associated with Brexit, not least a worsening of what is already a severe workforce recruitment and retention crisis to the point whereby services cease to operate.”
  • BMA Scotland: “There remains much work to do to put in place a flexible immigration system to try to ensure that the NHS and medical research in the UK can attract and retain the workforce needed we need EEA-trained doctors for our workforce to be sustainable.”
  • Community Pharmacy Scotland: “Where health related powers return to Westminster from the EU, Scotland needs to ensure that these are devolved as opposed to following a common framework, as our public health services are already at a more advanced stage than other home nations and development would suffer if it was necessary to pursue UK legislative change to allow further innovation.”
  • NHS Orkney: “The Common Frameworks arrangements could limit the extent to which the Scottish Parliament can tailor legislation to meet Scotland’s specific requirements, particularly if the frameworks are developed via legislation at Westminster rather than as intergovernmental agreements.”

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

“It’s increasingly clear from those at the frontline of our health and social care sectors that the kind of Hard Brexit Theresa May’s government is dragging us towards will cause serious damage to our ability to care for the vulnerable and protect public health from the influence of big business. It’s also clear that transferring EU responsibilities over public health to Westminster rather than Holyrood would represent a backwards step.

“Our public services, particularly health and social care, and our wider economy need close links with the rest of Europe, which is why we must stay in the Single Market, Scotland must have the power to create a more welcoming immigration policy, and why it’s right that Holyrood prepares a Continuity Bill to maintain EU standards.”