Warning over Brexit impact on cross-border surgery cannot be ignored, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said a warning over the impact of Brexit to vital cross-border and other surgery cannot be ignored.

She was speaking after paediatric cardiologist Dr Brian Craig said a no deal Brexit could “risk the ability to transfer children smoothly” between Belfast and Dublin for treatment of congenital heart disease, adding recruitment and retention of clinical staff in general could also be an issue.

“The DUP sees fit to make childish, flippant remarks while families in Northern Ireland grow increasingly concerned about the ability to provide life-saving procedures as a result of the consequences of the policy they are pursuing,” said the South Belfast MLA.

“Any Brexit will inevitably lead, even if not immediately, to the risk surgical and other medical qualifications will no longer be recognised on a cross-border basis. More than that, without free movement it would become increasingly difficult to recruit specialist medical staff.

“This would be not only because of the potential for visa and other requirements, but because people will increasingly ignore the UK as it becomes a more bureaucratic and burdensome place in which to work.

“Although I would urge families there should be no significant issues with cross-border surgery in the immediate weeks and months after Brexit, Dr Brian Craig’s warnings cannot be ignored in the medium term. I would like to see much more detail from the Department of exactly what contingencies are in place.”
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