14:48 GMT24 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK doctors raised concern about negative implications of Brexit on the country's National Health Service (NHS), including the loss of staff, and called for a public vote on the final deal with the European Union, The Guardian newspaper reported.

    According to the outlet, members of the British Medical Association (BMA) held their annual meeting in Brighton on Wednesday, at which they passed a motion backing the United Kingdom's membership of the European single market and urging the public to have the final word on the terms of the Brexit deal.

    "The fact is that the government is woefully underprepared to ensure the United Kingdom’s health and wellbeing is secure in time for the self-imposed deadline of 29 March 2019. Brexit is bad for Britain’s health. Let’s put that on the side of a big red bus and once we have made that clear, the public should vote on the deal," Dr William Sapwell said, as quoted by the newspaper.

    According to The Guardian, doctors said Brexit was "a disastrous act of national self-harm" and would cause serious problems in NHS staff recruitment.

    "Instead of the 350 million pounds [$458 million] a week for the NHS we were promised by the Brexiters, we have had cuts and closures as the NHS loses staff and struggles with budgets that are limited by the Brexit economic squeeze," Dr Paul Williams said, as quoted by The Guardian.

    READ MORE: UK Has Failed to Eliminate Deficit Despite Cuts to NHS, Police — Labour Official

    One of the major implications of Brexit on the UK's health system is a loss of staff from the European Economic Area (EEA). The UK media reported in late April that almost 4,000 nurses and midwives from the EEA had left the United Kingdom in 2017, with only 800 arriving.

    The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in 2016. The Brexit negotiations officially kicked off in June 2017 and are expected to be completed by the end of March 2019.


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