Government must be under no illusions that the rising cost of living is affecting the nation’s health, warns BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Last reviewed: 17 May 2022
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Responding to findings of a YouGov poll commissioned by the Royal College of Physicians which found that over half of Britons (55%) feel their health has been negatively affected by the rising cost of living, Professor Neena Modi, president of the BMA, said:

“The fact that half the population now believe that the rising cost of living is affecting their health shows that the public are under no illusions about the causes of poorer health. It is now time for the Government to wake up to the cost-of-living crisis and set out a cross-departmental strategy to protect the health of the nation through these difficult times.

“It is now a sad reality that many people in the UK believe their health is being affected by their ability to afford essentials such as food or heating. This unequivocally shows that, for far too long, health has not been sufficiently integrated into other vital spheres of Government policy-making – such as the economy, education, housing and the environment.

“The rising cost of living is now affecting the health of vast swathes of the population, with the hardest hit being the poorest in society. However, recent Government announcements, such as the decision to delay new laws limiting multibuy deals and the marketing of junk food, show that the nation’s health is not being prioritised, and if anything, decisions such as these will only make the nation’s health worse.

“The public recognises there are unacceptable health inequalities in the UK. The BMA, alongside 200 organisations which form the Inequalities in Health Alliance, is calling for a cross-departmental strategy to take health into account across the breadth of Government policy-making. It is high time for the Government to listen to the public and healthcare organisations, taking action to protect the most vulnerable from a downward trajectory of worsening health, and providing the levers to make health a key consideration in all policy-making.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.