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NHS breaking point - Public health

Consultant talking to patient 20688

Politicians must take urgent action to improve the health of the population and reverse cuts to public health

The BMA calls on all political parties to:

  • work with health professionals to deliver a public health strategy focused on tackling the causes of ill-health over a generation

  • deliver on the existing commitment to ensure parity of esteem between physical and mental health services

  • prioritise measures to tackle the impact of unhealthy food and drink, tobacco and alcohol on the public's health

The socio-economic context that influences our opportunities in life are also significant factors in greater ill-health and premature death. The widening of these considerable health inequalities in the UK is very concerning.

Doctors see the consequences of poor public health on a daily basis in their communities, clinics, emergency departments, and on hospital wards: obesity rates remain stubbornly high across the UK, nearly one in six adults still smoke, and 7.8million adults binge drink. This causes substantial ill-health, and one estimate suggests that, combined, these health risks cost the NHS £18billion per year in the UK.

Download the BMA manifesto briefing on public health


More information

Read more about public and population health

Read more about preventing ill health

Read more about the NHS at breaking point


BMA manifesto - A vote for health

Read our general election 2017 BMA manifesto.

Download the BMA manifesto