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GPs go forth

UK doctors set to ‘oppose Brexit’ following BMA vote

The BMA will 'oppose Brexit as a whole' following a vote at today's Annual Representative Meeting.

The motion called on the BMA to 'publicly announce that it is concerned that Brexit poses a major threat to the NHS and the nation's health', while supporting 'open border arrangements with free movement of healthcare and medical research staff'.

Following the vote, it will be BMA policy to 'support the idea of the public having a final say on the Brexit deal, now that more is known regarding the potential impact of Brexit'.

The BMA's 'Brexit briefings', which outlined its stance earlier this year, previously warned: 'Any reduction in the number of doctors migrating to the UK will therefore undoubtedly exacerbate workforce shortages, impacting staffing levels on hospital wards, in GP practices and in community settings across the UK.' 

Official statistics have shown that the GP workforce shortage continues to worsen as 1,000 GPs left the profession since 2015, when the health secretary announced plans to add 5,000 GPs to the workforce by 2020.

Meanwhile, NHS England continues to pursue its target of recruiting 2,000 GPs from overseas by 2020, with just 85 in posts as of the end of March.

Dr Chandra Kanneganti, BMA GP Committee policy lead for the GP Forward View, said: 'We oppose what's happening and we want a good deal to be part of the European Union because we appreciate the enormous contribution of the European healthcare workforce, who work in the NHS everyday.

'That's the main reason we support this motion and I think we showed a strong message today as well, that the doctors across the NHS support our European colleagues.'

He added that the BMA will now work with the Government and 'put the pressure on to get the best deal'.

The motion in full

Motion by the agenda committee: That this meeting notes the concerns raised in the "BMA Brexit briefings”, also notes that the BMA is non-partisan but that there is a plurality of opinions within political parties on Brexit. We call on the BMA to:-

i) support the UK remaining in the European single market;

ii) support open border arrangements with free movement of healthcare and medical research staff;

iii) support the UK remaining a member of Euratom to ensure the protection of supply of radioisotopes;

iv) support the early adoption of the European Clinical Trials Directive in the UK;

v) publicly announce that it is concerned that Brexit poses a major threat to the NHS and the nation's health;

vi) support the idea of the public having a final say on the Brexit deal, now that more is known regarding the potential impact of Brexit on the NHS and the nation's health;

vii) oppose Brexit as a whole.

Source: BMA

Readers' comments (13)

  • Vinci Ho

    The most important message that should be delivered to the government is : ‘BMA does not believe there will be Brexit dividend for the additional £20 billion annually for NHS , as pledged by the prime minister .’

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  • AlanAlmond

    This is bugger all to do with the BMA. Can some one explain to me why our union is campaigning to increase the numbers of overseas Drs employed in the NHS. How does this square with improving the pay and working conditions of BMA union members? I can see how this agenda works for the benefit of the NHS, but I’m sorry I thought the BMA was the Drs union, not an NHS support group.
    Regardless of your take on the rights and wrongs of BREXIT all this demonstrates is complete confusion on the part of the BMA as to who’s interests they are supposed to represent...apparently not their paid up members.

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  • I will be resigning my BMA membership in consequence.

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  • yet another way for the boss'es union to avoid doing any proper work. Is Sir Mark Porter still angling to take over from Terry at the GMC as the Tory party's chief medical stooge?

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  • Not on my behalf please BMA!
    Brexit was voted on and carried by the uk public, what right does the Bma have in objecting to it on my behalf?
    I denounce the Bma resolution as wrong and undemocratic and I am ashamed that my trades union should so recklesslessly ignore democracy but then again........
    I left the Bma for 20 years and only rejoined several years ago, as in all things.......please do not presume on my behalf
    The Bma have got this so wrong and it appeals to the leftist anti brexit agenda nicely but will have no effect apart from annoying brexit (ex) Bma members.....

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  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    England is playing Belgium in World Cup final group stage game. Both are already through to the knockout stage . But the irony is the team which lose tonight can avoid Brazil in quarter final , if it gets through next round .
    The prime minister is going to Brussel today to face the 27 EU leaders in a summit meeting . Time is almost run out for signing off an official deal in coming October for Brexit. The division within the Tory Party about this deal is historic. I suppose for those who support leaving EU , this government has essentially failed to deliver .

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  • #NotInMyName.

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  • Topical Art from Oxford

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  • AlanAlmond

    Vincent ...we haven’t left yet and ‘negotiations’ (lol) are still ongoing. I thoroughly respect your right to take issue with BREXIT but your confused in your repeated suggestions that BREXIT is all some kind of internal Tory party issue. Significantly more people voted leave than have voted Tories in many many years, or any party for that matter. If a single political party received 56% of the national vote at a general election they’d have the biggest political mandate in a long while. Wether it’s what you wanted or not we are going to leave because a significant majority of the population want to. We need to get the best deal we can, and if the EU refuse we just have to leave anyway. To me their empty headed intransigence makes the case for leaving even more valid. What a inflexible sclerotic set up the EU self evidently is.
    By passing motions (no pun intended) like this the BMA alignes itself with an argument it can not win, and has already lost. Pointless and divisive in equal measure.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Resigned my membership of the BMA.
    They might just as well pass a motion opposing the result of a general election.
    Oh the irony, they have a vote on wether to oppose the result of someone else’s vote, only the vote their voting to oppose involved the entire country, whilst who are they..a small band of Drs seemingly pathologically predisposed to back the looser in every argument. I’m not with them, that ain’t my bag, these folk don’t represent me and they ain’t getting my subsidy.

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