Hospitals in the Netherlands are sounding the alarm about potential disruption posed to them if the EU fails to secure a deal with the UK.
The Dutch Federation of Academic Hospitals has said: “We foresee great risks for our daily operations if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
“This varies from medicines, tissues and medical supplies becoming unavailable, to problems with data storage and the registration of doctors. The safety of patients is at risk.”
This is because the Dutch import around €2 billion worth of medical supplies from the UK annually, around 10% of all goods shipped from Britain to the Netherlands according to Reuters. The situation is further complicated as other items, including pacemakers, are currently given EU certification in the UK.
The Netherlands Association for General Hospitals is still trying to find out the scale of the problem, with Spokesman Wouter van der Horst saying: “We have asked our suppliers to find out how much we are talking about.”
There has also been talk of potential disruption in Britain if there’s a No Deal Brexit, but Health Minister Matt Hancock has said “we’ve instituted full No Deal planning within the NHS and he’s “confident” there will be an “unhindered supply” of medicines in the UK.
The Department for Health also tweeted: “People should trust advice from official NHS sources. We are confident that if everyone does what they need to do, medical supplies will be uninterrupted and patients will get their prescriptions as normal.”
No one wants to see disruption which is why the EU should be prepared to renegotiate with the UK and if no trade deal is agreed, sensible arrangements should be made to minimise any short-term problems.