Post Brexit, retired Brits currently living in Europe will cost the NHS £500million if the current EU healthcare scheme ends.
As part of the S1 Scheme, there are currently 190,000 British retirees living in European countries getting their healthcare costs covered. If these Brits were to return to the UK, The Nuffield Trust has estimated their care would cost roughly £979million per year.
We currently contribute £500million, and so would therefore need roughly another £500million to settle the bill.
As reported in The Guardian, the report has stated that by 2025, there could be a shortage of 70,000 paid carers. Consequently, the cost of our exit from the EU will rise if nurses and care workers currently entering the UK from Europe, were no longer permitted; we would lose the migrants that work and pay taxes.
The report highlights that, “Every step should be taken to try to secure a deal that allows them to keep receiving care where they now live”. It indicates that to fulfil the shortfall to treat returning Brits, we’d need approximately 900 beds, and the healthcare staff to match.
This pressure will only add to the strain the NHS is currently under. According to the report, there are now roughly 22,000 migrant nurses working to fill the void the NHS presently has.
The Department of Health has estimated, by severing migration, by 2025 we will have lost 20,000 nurses. This will roughly double if we were to deport those already working here.
“The state of the NHS relies heavily on it being recognised as a significant priority as we enter some of the most important negotiations in Britain’s history” (Mark Dayan, Nuffield Trust).
“These figures are a stark reminder that with the NHS at breaking point, politicians must keep the health service and its patients at the forefront during Brexit negotiations and reduce the impact that leaving the EU will have on Health and Social Care across the UK” (Dr Mark Porter, BMA Council Chair).