Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the UK government to provide answers on how much Brexit will cost the country’s National Health Service (NHS).
With Brexit less than six months away, concerns are increasing over a hard or no-deal, where the UK will leave the European Union (EU) without an official agreement.
Scottish government is also working towards reducing the potential damage that Brexit may cause to its health sector.
Sturgeon said: “Far from the £350m extra a week promised to the NHS from Brexit, there is growing evidence of mounting costs. It’s now time the UK Government came clean on the scale of the cost to our health service.
“The Prime Minister failed to guarantee there would be no interruption in medicine supplies after Brexit. This came after UK ministers published a truncated tender, at a cost of tens of millions of pounds, associated with medicines stockpiling.”
The First Minister added that improvements to oncology care will also be impacted due to Brexit’s affect on Scottish NHS. Currently, the country is investing more than £100m over five years to enhance the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare of cancer patients.
Sturgeon noted: “Cancer Research UK said last month ‘a no-deal Brexit is clearly the worst outcome for cancer patients and research in both the UK and EU27’.
“This is backed up as cancer experts have warned that ending freedom of movement could be catastrophic for research, which risks undermining patient cancer care.”
The government further expressed concerns over loss of millions in research funding, which is likely to impact clinical trials. It is believed that staying in the Customs Union and Single Market would reduce the Brexit damage and ensure access to the required frontline and research staff.