NHS Gets Political, Chiefs Call for Brexit Delay Because of Coronavirus

Medical staff and workers take part in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, outside of the ExCeL London exhibition centre, which has …
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Leaders of the British universal healthcare provider the National Health Service have told Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend the transition period — delaying the UK’s exit from EU institutions — because leaving in the New Year would push the allegedly coronavirus-hit NHS “over the edge”.

The UK officially left the European Union on January 31st, 2020, but remains in a transition period — tied to the bloc’s trading rules and regulations — until December 31st, 2020. During this time, London and Brussels have been mostly in a state of deadlock in negotiations for a new deal, disagreeing over issues including fishing and rules on state support for domestic industry.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK will leave the bloc, deal or no deal, taking “full control” of its destiny, from January 1st, 2021. Further, the prime minister had already made it illegal to extend the transition period, with the leaving date enshrined in law in January.

The NHS Confederation wrote to the prime minister that because there were 19,000 people in hospitals with the Chinese virus — close to the number seen at the peak in the Spring — and numbers could increase over the Christmas period, the NHS would be overwhelmed. Delaying would take the service out of “the immediate danger zone” and would “enable the NHS to continue to focus on fighting the pandemic without having to contend with disruptive changes brought about by a no-deal outcome”, the senior medics claim, according to The Guardian.

“The NHS might not be perceived to be on the Brexit negotiating table, but the disruption shockwaves from a no-deal outcome could push the NHS’s ability to function over the edge.

“Given we are days away from the cliff edge, we urge you to extend the transition period by a month, buying the NHS a precious few extra weeks and enabling the UK to leave the EU after a one-year transition period,” the letter said.

Former Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy, the Remain-voting daughter of a Marxist scholar and granddaughter of a former Liberal peer, was the first politician to call for a delay to the end of the transition period, making the demand in early March before the UK’s first lockdown was even imposed.

Members of European Parliament in the EU’s European People’s Party — the bloc’s largest, most powerful Europhile political grouping which contains the party of Germany’s Angela Merkel — also called for a delay later that month, in yet another attempt to keep a stranglehold on the UK and its assets.

At the beginning of December, analysis revealed that only four out of 223 NHS hospital trusts in England were busier than the same time last year. Oncologist Dr Karol Sikora accused the government of running a “brainwashing PR campaign” to keep the country in continual lockdown and people in need of medical attention — other than related to the Chinese virus — “out of hospital”.

Dr Sikora said of the report: “What the data shows is that hospitals are not working at full capacity and they’ve still got some spare beds for Covid if necessary. The public is being misled, the data doesn’t stack up. Fear and scaremongering is being used to keep people out of hospital.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, which provided the study, the oncologist said:  “The data you’ve shown me proves that it [the NHS] doesn’t need protecting. It’s dealing with Covid very well indeed.”

The government established seven emergency field hospitals dubbed Nightingale wards and most, The Guardian reported in October, had never seen a patient. The jewel in the crown of the government’s coronavirus emergency planning, the 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale London, was put on standby in May barely over a month after being established. The others have either also been put on standby, or repurposed.

Reports have been published in recent months of the effect that the NHS prioritising coronavirus care over other vital services has had on Britons’ health, with one claiming that millions of scans, many potentially life-saving, were cancelled.

In October, London GP Dr Renee Hoenderkamp criticised the government’s “heavy-handed” strategy of pivoting all NHS efforts into dealing with coronavirus, writing that she worried “thousands of people could ultimately die, not from the disease itself, but the misguided response to it. That is exactly what seems to be happening.”

“Effectively, thanks to the Government’s edict, the system was all but closed to cases that did not involve Covid-19. In practice, the National Health Service had been temporarily replaced by a National Covid Service,” Dr Hoenderkamp said.

Earlier this month, the family of father-of-two Sherwin Hall announced that he had died of cancer. Mr Hall had repeatedly begged his hospital for an MRI scan but was told he could not have one because services had been affected by the pandemic. His widow said that had he been able to access the care he needed, he would be alive today.

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