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On September 12th, EFA participated in a panel-discussion in the European Parliament on “Brexit: the European Parliaments’ role in prioritising patients, public health and health security across Europe”. The event, co-organised by various European patient groups, emphasized the importance of prioritising patient safety and public health in light of Brexit.

Panellists represented patients (European Patients Forum), researchers (Federation of European Academies of Medicine), public health advocates (European Public Health Alliance), healthcare providers (European Hospital and Healthcare Federation), doctors (Standing Committee of European Doctors) and pharmaceutical industry (AstraZeneca).

“People did not vote to put their health in danger”

Opening the panel, MEP Rory Palmer highlighted: No matter what people in the UK have voted for, they certainly did not want to put their health or patient safety in danger. European Patients Forum President, Usman Khan added that, keeping the UK as a central part of the EU project on health will be a main challenge in the medium- and long-term.

Panel presentations show main challenges for post-Brexit patient safety:

During the panel discussion, main challenges for safeguarding public health and health security post Brexit could be identified. A sudden ending of current arrangements would heavily affect:

  • Medicines supply, - authorization, production and access,
  • Mobility of medical workers and patients (and cross-border healthcare),
  • Research collaboration and clinical trials, but also
  • International training of doctors and medical personnel.

Additionally, Dr Griffin (FEAM) highlighted the risk of potential shortage for UK citizens on privileges related to the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).

Among many topics, a key-point of further discussion has been medical and healthcare supply as well as future cross border healthcare and potential immediate Brexit-impacts on patients, living at the Ireland-UK border.

EPF President Usman Khan expressed that, in fact cross-border healthcare is his personal priority among many pressing issues.

EFA supports claim for prioritising patients and public health

At EFA, we support the claim for prioritising patient safety and public health in light of Brexit. Political actions should not negatively fall back on patient’s health and the care they receive. We ask politicians to #ShowLeadership and to protect patients from having their health put in danger in the Brexit process.

The agenda of the event can be found here.