The European election is a chance to stop Brexit and protect our NHS, SNP MSP, Christina McKelvide, has said – as the party steps up campaigning on the final days ahead of the European election.

Donald Trump has outlined his demand that a post-Brexit trade deal sees “full market access” for US health products, allowing American drug firms to hike up prices for medicines.

The potential hit to NHS budgets adds to existing concerns that Brexit will have a harmful impact on healthcare.

A BBC investigation found that the NHS in Lanarkshire is concerned about attracting and retaining key and specialist staff , access to the nuclear material used to diagnose and treat cancers, the availability of blood and organs for transplant and the impact upon current EU conditions which allow patients in Scotland to be treated in any European country at no extra cost to the patient. This European agreement allows patients on long waiting lists to get treatment more quickly and to access highly specialist treatment elsewhere.

Ending freedom of movement could limit Scotland’s ability to fund the NHS – with Holyrood’s cross-party Finance committee last year warning there was a strong demographic risk to the size of the Scottish budget. 

The BMA’s European election manifesto this week said that “Brexit will be damaging for the medical profession, both in the UK and across Europe.”

Commenting, SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie, said:

“Thursday’s vote is a chance to stop Brexit in its tracks – and to protect the NHS in South Lanarkshire.

“Brexit poses a major risk to medicine supplies and is already making it harder to attract vital medical staff to our hospitals.

“And we already know that Donald Trump wants to use a post-Brexit trade deal to rip up the rulebook and open our NHS to American drug firms.

“That would mean higher prices for medicine and a worse deal for patients. 

“The Scottish Government is working as hard as possible to mitigate the impact of Brexit on South Lanarkshire's health service – but any Brexit will have consequences for our NHS.

“We need to send the strongest possible message that we will not stand for this. A vote for the SNP on Thursday will make clear that Scotland will not stand for Brexit.”

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European Parliament Election Manifesto 2019