Minister writes Brexit letter to NHS staff

European Union Image copyright Peter Byrne
Image caption An estimated 26,000 EU nationals work in health, social care and public administration in Scotland

Scotland’s health secretary has written to EU staff working in the NHS calling on them to stay on in Scotland post-Brexit.

Jeane Freeman’s letter said it was an “unsettling time” but stressed “Scotland is absolutely your home”.

Scotland has about 235,000 EU nationals, with an estimated 26,000 working in health, social care and public administration.

The UK is due to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019.

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In her letter, Ms Freeman said that negotiations between the UK and EU on withdrawal were heading towards “expected decisions” in the autumn.

health secretary
Image caption Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the contribution of EU nationals to the NHS was valued

She said: “But the UK government has also been stepping up its preparations for a possible no-deal scenario.

“I know this must be a very unsettling time for all of you.

“That is why I wanted to reiterate now how much I value the contribution of every member of staff, regardless of their nationality.”

Image caption Health Secretary Image copyright AFP
Image caption The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019

Ms Freeman said workers from across the EU and beyond had brought valuable experience and skills that had strengthened and improved the health service.

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She added: “Scotland is absolutely your home and we very much want you to stay here.”

Cause disruption

The Scottish government has already committed to meeting the administrative cost of settled status applications for EU citizens working in its devolved public services.

NHS Scotland has previously highlighted concerns about access to specialist medicines, equipment and medical staff after Brexit.

The issue has also been raised by NHS Lanarkshire, which warned withdrawal from the EU could cause disruption to its service, while figures from the Western Isles showed that of the 12 NHS consultants working there in 2017, eight were from EU countries outside the UK.

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Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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