Matt Hancock hails Brexit as major opportunity to turbocharge UK’s medical research

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The UK is set to join an exciting new international medical scheme after the Brexit transition period ends in January 2021. Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced to the House of Commons that Britain will be part of Project Orbis, with Canada, the United States, Australia, Switzerland and Singapore. The minister hailed the development as an “opportunity” for the UK outside of the EU.

Mr Hancock said: “As we leave the EU, I want to use the opportunity to improve how quickly we get new drugs to patients here.

“Project Orbis will allow international regulators to work together to review and improve the next generation of cancer treatments faster.

“This means pharmaceutical companies can submit treatments to be reviewed by several countries at the same time.

“This is so we can cooperate with the best medical operators in the world and make approvals quicker so we can get patients the fastest possible access to new drugs.”

He continued: “This is an exciting development and we’ll join this scheme fully on January 1 after the end of the transition period.

“We’ll stop at nothing to bring faster access to lifesaving treatments on the NHS.”

The Health Secretary also outlined how the Government is planning to invest in domestic health sectors.

Previously he had announced to the Commons that an extra £150 million in expanding capacity in urgent and emergency care.

Mr Hancock said: “Hospitals will have the space to continue treating patients safely in the pandemic.

“I’m delighted that the Prime Minister set out the 40 hospitals we’ll build by 2030.

“This is as part of the package worth £3.7 billion with eight further new schemes invited to bid for future funding also to be built by 2030, including mental health facilities.”

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The minister added: “This is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

“The investment comes on top of an extra £33.9 billion a year that the Government will be providing to the NHS by 2023/24.

“We passed that into law right at the start of this Parliament.

“These 40 new hospitals across England will support our mission to level up our NHS.

“So even more people have top class healthcare services in their local area and so we can protect the NHS long into the future.”

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