Having triggered Article 50, the Prime Minster must now do everything in her power to control the impact of Brexit on the National Health Service, and protect patient care across the country, by granting permanent residence to EEA nationals who are working in the UK.
European doctors are vital to the NHS in the North East.
Many have lived here for years and are not just NHS workers, but are valuable members of our communities.
We should recognise the valuable contribution they make by protecting their right to remain and to work in the UK, rather than placing them and their families in a position where they are facing an uncertain future.
Worryingly, a recent BMA survey found that four in ten EEA doctors working in the UK are considering leaving following Brexit. With the NHS at breaking point and facing crippling staff shortages in many areas, losing more doctors would seriously impact patient care.
This decision not only impacts the numbers of doctors and healthcare staff in our NHS, we will also risk losing skilled researchers, who are vital to the future of medical advancement in this country.
To protect patient care, it is absolutely vital that the Government grants EEA doctors working in the NHS permanent residence.
Dr George Rae
BMA NE council chairman