Call ahead of UK health minister meeting.
Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick will repeat calls for the UK Government to immediately rule out a 'no deal' Brexit, or risk ‘damaging and lasting consequences’ for the health and social care system, when he attends a four nations EU exit meeting of health ministers in London later today.
Speaking ahead of the meeting which will take place this afternoon (Monday), Mr FitzPatrick said:
“There are now 18 days until the UK is due to leave the European Union and we have still received no guarantee from the UK Government that supplies of medicines will continue uninterrupted. This is completely unacceptable.
"Today I will reiterate that the UK Government must immediately rule out a 'no deal' Brexit. Failure to do so risks inflicting damaging and lasting consequences on our health and social care system. I will also make clear that we expect Scotland’s needs to be taken fully into account as part of the Department of Health and Social Care’s planning for EU Exit.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with NHS Scotland health boards to ensure they are as prepared as possible for all Brexit scenarios, and that the EU citizens who makes such a tremendous contribution to our health and social care system get all the support, advice and reassurance they need.”
Many of the practical issues connected to medicine supply in the event of a no-deal Brexit are outside the control of the Scottish Government, such as stockpiling by pharmaceutical companies or entry and customs controls at the UK border. The UK Department of Health and Social Care provided information relating to medical supplies and the Scottish Government is now working very closely with NHS Scotland to assess and prepare for any no-deal outcome.
At both official and Ministerial level the Scottish Government continues to engage with the UK Government on planning and preparation, and to make every effort to ensure that the vital importance of getting the information needed is recognised.