A report by the Nuffield Trust has found the NHS could face a bill of almost half a billion pounds if retired British people currently living in other EU countries decide to return to the UK because their access to healthcare abroad is withdrawn after Brexit.
The report also calculates that care homes and home-care agencies could end up as many as 70,000 staff short by 2025/26, if migration of unskilled workers from the EU is halted after Brexit.
Responding, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
"These stark figures show Theresa May's extreme version of Brexit would be a disaster for the NHS.
"Crashing out of the EU without a deal would mean the loss of healthcare rights for British pensioners in Europe, putting huge pressure on our hospitals.
"We risk seeing nurses and social care workers from the EU leaving in their droves because Theresa May won't do the right thing and guarantee their right to stay.
"A brighter future is possible. We will stand up to a bad Brexit deal that would hit the NHS hard, and give people the final say with a chance to remain in the EU."