The BMJ (British Medical Journal) has urged for the UK to remain in the European Unio, claiming the health case to stay is “overwhelming”.
The BMJ, a leading health journal which doesn’t normally intervene in political debates, has been investigating the main arguments for Britain remaining in the EU and for leaving, and how it could affect healthcare and the NHS.
They have recently been publishing a series of articles on how the NHS would be affected by Brexit, and revealed in a new publication that “it has become increasingly obvious that the arguments for remaining in the EU are overwhelming, and that now is not the time for balance.”
This five-week series of articles analysed the pros and cons of EU membership for health.
One particular claim from Leave campaigners is that EU immigrants are “swamping” the NHS by trying to access free healthcare. But the BMJ revealed that research shows young and healthy migrants actually use the NHS less than UK nationals.
Moreover, many migrants actually return to their home countries to receive quicker access to healthcare and specialist services, the BMJ found.
Another Leave claim is that £350m per week could be given to fund the NHS following Brexit because this is what the UK pays to the EU. The BMJ argues this claim has been “blown out of the water by a host of financial and economic experts”.
Referencing the Economist Intelligence Unit, the BMJ highlighted that healthcare spending would actually be £135 a head lower if the UK was to leave the EU.
The BMJ called the Leave campaign’s arguments on the NHS “simply wrong” and said it felt compelled to publicise their findings which showed Brexit would reduce healthcare financing, and that the UK would have less influence in medicines research.
“We realised that we could not name one prominent national medical, research, or health organisation that has sided with Brexit,” said the BMJ.
“We think this issue transcends politics and has such huge ramifications for health and society that it is important to state our case.” recently spoke to MPs Keith Vaz and Jamie Reed in our in-depth look at what leaving the UK could mean for people with diabetes in the UK.

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