Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid Response:

Re: Assessing the health effects of a “no deal” Brexit

A recent shock (when all the local, rural pharmacies ran out of one of my medicines) led me to think about Foresight and any personal planning I should do for Brexit.[1] Top of the list was getting on Eurostar to ensure a reserve of medication (in California, this packing is part of the State recommended preparedness for Earthquakes) and next came essential spare parts for my French car and supplies of good Italian coffee (and a big sack of Italian oranges and lemons for my 5-a-day). Before travelling, I just checked my European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): it says it is valid until 2022. In relation to ‘reciprocal healthcare’ the Analysis [1] refers to 2018 ‘operational readiness guidance’ which seeks to reassure its readers that the UK already had a Bill to “support a broad continuance of the existing reciprocal healthcare rights under current EU regulations (such as the European Health Insurance Card)”. Now, in September 2019, our Government website tells me:

• “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, your EHIC might not be valid anymore.”

Might not? Might? Does anyone have a clue? [2]
Maybe I should just wait in California with their oranges, lemons and planning skills, until the UK Brexit disaster is all over….

[1] Van Schalkwyk MCI. et al. Assessing the health effects of a “no deal” Brexit. BMJ 2019;366:l5300
[2] Wrigley D. Doctors will not be the agents enforcing a new “hostile environment”. BMJ Opinion 30 August 2019.

Competing interests: No competing interests

03 September 2019
Woody Caan
Member of the Worried Unwell
Duxford, Cambridge