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Leaving the EU: health and Social Care

Volume 638: debated on Tuesday 20 March 2018

8. Whether his Department has completed an impact assessment of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the health and social care sector. (904469)

All policy teams in my Department have conducted assessments of the implications of Brexit and continue to plan for all scenarios.

Well, I hope to hear some good news then. In my constituency, Dundee University and Ninewells Hospital are recognised centres of biomedical and clinical research, working closely with other European colleagues and institutions. That work is threatened if the UK is outside the European research network and excluded from data-sharing and the new clinical trial system. How does the Secretary of State plan specifically to protect the academic and clinical research excellence of Scottish and UK institutions post-Brexit?

We have made it clear that we want to integrate very closely with European structures when it comes to medicines research. I would gently say to the hon. Gentleman that great universities such as Dundee also collaborate with universities all over the world, and I think that this is a good opportunity for us to ensure that we strengthen our research networks internationally as well as using the tried and tested ones that we have with the EU.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that leaving the EU will be a good opportunity to build links with other countries’ medical systems, particularly those of the Chinese, who have, for instance, integrated Chinese medicine and western medicine to reduce the demand for antibiotics?

My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to antimicrobial resistance because China is one of the big countries that can make a difference on that, and yes, we have had lots of discussion with Chinese Health Ministers about how we can work together on that.