It will take years for us to deal with the fall out of BREXIT, but there is one aspect of the result that cannot wait for new laws or agreements to be put in place. That is the reassurance following the vote, that we need to give to the thousands of people who come from the EU and elsewhere overseas to work in our NHS.
Over the summer I will be asking the public across Wales to support me in a campaign to ensure that our doctors, nurses, health professionals and care workers from the EU or overseas feel welcome by saying thank you to them.
The response to this campaign which I started in Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen this week was incredible. All patients grasped immediately, irrespective of the way they had voted, that these expert professionals need to be supported and made to feel at home.
Several EU doctors have told me that they feel slightly less welcome since the vote and so it is essential that we, the public take time to reassure them, and make them understand that we do appreciate all that they do for us. We also need to ensure that we explain this carefully to the hundreds of thousands in Wales who did have concerns about immigration.
More than 4,500 doctors and nurses from outside of the UK support the delivery of NHS services across Wales. One of the biggest challenges the NHS faces, especially in rural areas like Mid and West Wales, is attracting staff. We also have a recruitment problem in specific specialist areas. We need the experts already here to stay. We need more skilled health workers to come. The success of the services in our hospitals is utterly dependent on their expertise, as well as on the expertise of British staff.
At Glangwili hospital two radiologists, one from Germany and another from Spain were delighted with the campaign and expressed their thanks to the campaigners. Please join with me in the campaign.
Show your appreciation to our health professionals from overseas and make them feel welcome by cutting out the slip showing your support, signing it and handing it to them. You are welcome also to tweet your thanks #diolchdoc or post your comment on Facebook.com/ElunedMorganAM