The interviews you published with three doctors who are concerned about the impact of Brexit (‘I’ve lived here for 20 years, now I feel like a second-class citizen’, 9 April) provide sober food for thought and will likely strike a chord with many other European healthcare staff who will be experiencing similar anxiety and uncertainty – staff who have been working tirelessly to deliver care for patients.
These are by no means isolated cases and the fact that we risk losing skilled specialists with years of experience in their field is nothing short of a disaster for our health service. Many EU doctors have spent years training in the NHS and, as exemplified by the stories of these doctors, have invaluable specific skills.
It is disheartening to hear that many doctors are feeling less welcome and are experiencing a noticeable shift in attitudes towards them, particularly when they have in many cases spent years providing care in the UK.
Of course, no one who voted in the EU referendum would have voted to have a weakened health service, but there is a clear risk of that happening. Given that we already have an NHS workforce crisis with extreme doctor shortages compared to other European countries, we should be doing all we can to encourage and support doctors working in the NHS rather than driving them away.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul
Chair of council, British Medical Association
• The day after the 2016 EU referendum, I happened to have an appointment with my GP, a Dutch citizen who had worked in the UK for over 30 years. I asked him his reaction to the result. “I’ve sadly realised that half my patients don’t want me to be here,” he said. He returned to Holland shortly afterwards. The people of Peterborough, a majority of whom voted to leave the EU, lost a very fine GP.
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