Although the full ramifications of the United Kingdom’s scheduled withdrawal from the European Union remain to be seen, one area widely expected to suffer as a result of the exit is health care.
The National Health Service (NHS) is already struggling to keep up with escalating demand, and waiting times are claimed to be the longest in the history of the service. According to a review published earlier this year in the Lancet, Brexit in any form will only add to the strain—a ‘no-deal’ Brexit being the worst case scenario, which would have a deleterious impact on the workforce, financing, access to medicines and vaccines, and information sharing and research.
The NHS workforce appears to be suffering even now. With one out of our every 20 staff members hailing from the EU, the number of European Economic Area (EEA) nurses departing the service has already tripled since the results of the referendum were announced. What’s more, in a survey of over 1,500 EU doctors working in the UK, the British Medical Association found that over one-third of these plan to leave the country following the withdrawal.
In recent years, UK residents procuring medical treatment abroad have numbered in the hundreds of thousands annually. Alongside the already restricted access to non-urgent care, such as IVF, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit may well impel many others to begin considering medical tourism in the near future.
The good news is, no matter the outcome, there are health care options available abroad to the British national. And the Czech Republic is a fine option. If you’ve been thinking about pursuing the medical tourism route in the looming shadow of Brexit, we can help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.