After months of deliberation, determination, conflict and contradiction the results are in. Wales and the United Kingdom have decided to vote leave. What will this mean for Wales and its NHS? The answer can only be uncertain, ambigious and speculative. Will the NHS in Wales now be better off because it won’t need the £246million by 2030 to cope with EU migration, as predicted by the leave campaign? Will secondary care breath a sigh of relief because they no longer have to employ the extra 328 additional doctors to sustain present staffing levels as predicted by those favouring Brexit? Is the population of Wales going to benefit now that the forcasted 131,000 extra people sighted to come in to Wales between now and 2030 are apparently no longer making their trip?
The winning leave campaigners have triumphed with their battle, which tapped into apprehension in patients that the Welsh NHS, already confronted with the challenge of an aging population and seemingly limited funds, could not cope with the possible population growth.
Both sides of the campaign have heavily focussed on the NHS, knowing that this, along with migration, is the priority of voters. Both sides demonstrated that in and out had power and also faults. The leave campaign estimated population increase above formal reckoning, however they are also aware the real figures have been under estimated previously. The campaign to remain tried to take the pessimistic route that tax revenues would be damaged should leaving the EU prevail, therefore reducing funding on health too. They failed to persuade and patients have voted to believe that out is the more optomistic route.
Will the money promised now be spent on Welsh local priorities rather than within the EU?
Only time will tell.
Dwysan Edwards, practice manager, Meddygfa Pen-y-Bont Surgery, Wales.
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