Having triggered Article 50, the Prime Minster must now do everything in her power to control the impact of Brexit on the NHS and protect patient care by granting permanent residence to EEA nationals working in the UK.
European doctors are vital to the NHS in the north east. Many have lived here for years and are valuable members of our communities.
We should recognise the contribution they make by protecting their right to remain and to work in the UK.
Worryingly, a recent BMA survey found that four in ten EEA doctors working in the UK are considering leaving following Brexit. With the NHS facing crippling staff shortages in many areas, losing doctors would seriously impact patient care.
This decision not only impacts doctors and healthcare staff, we 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. The stability and future of our NHS depends upon it.
Dr George Rae
BMA North East regional council chairman