Concerns are often voiced about the strain unrestricted immigration from the European Union has placed on our public services, above all our cherished National Health Service. Whenever they are, there is always a Europhile arguing large-scale immigration is the only thing keeping the NHS open, with an increasing number of our medical staff coming from the EU.
It is certainly true the number of EU migrants working in the NHS is increasing, with 20,000 EU migrants now employed as nurses – over twice the 9,000 we had 5 years ago. However, this worrying trend is not a confirmation of the positives of an unmanaged immigration system. It merely reiterates unrestricted immigration is damaging public services in more ways than one.
It is common knowledge the strain the NHS is under. Clogged hospital beds and ever-growing waiting times as well as overflowing GPs surgeries are just some of the adverse effects of the scale of immigration to this country. Putting this aside, the rapid increase in the number of EU migrant nurses has also led to a decline in the quality of care the NHS can provide. EU regulations stipulate an EU migrant’s language skills cannot be tested before they are registered to work as nurses in this country. Providing patients with the care they need is difficult enough for NHS workers, never mind when there is a language barrier between doctor and patient.
Unfortunately, the EU’s immigration policy discriminates against migrants from the rest of the world in favour of EU migrants. This means whilst we are importing thousands of EU migrants to work in our hospitals who lack key communication skills, English-speaking medical professionals from America, Canada and Australia are barred from coming here. At this rate, the NHS could be filled with medical staff who have very little understanding of English vocabulary, let alone an understanding of the medical dictionary.
Against this increase in the number of EU NHS workers is the backdrop of the ongoing US-EU trade agreement negotiations. Clauses of the deal will allow US businesses to sue our government over any new laws which affect their profits. If ratified, our government will either shy away from implementing much needed reforms in the NHS or be forced to pay billions in compensation to private businesses. The gradual erosion of the NHS which will follow will make privatisation inevitable and irreversible.
It is becoming increasingly clear the NHS has no future within the EU. If we want to keep our cherished national institution effective and in the hands of the Great British Public instead of big business only concerned with profiteering, there is only one option. In the 2017 In/Out referendum we must vote to Get Britain Out of the EU.