Population health

We undertake research and produce recommendations on a variety of public and population health issues. See what we are working on.

Public Health Article Illustration

Supporting people to live healthier lives

Alcohol, drugs and driving consensus statement

Saving Lives: Reducing preventable harm caused by driving under the influence

Evidence to support the asks in our alcohol, drugs and driving consensus statement

Statistics on the harms of alcohol and drugs, including in relation to road harm caused by substance use, highlight the need for policy change, such as those we call for in our consensus statement.

Reducing alcohol-related harm in England

A wide-ranging approach to reducing alcohol-related harm is needed covering the availability, affordability and marketing of alcohol as well as support for healthcare professionals.

Improving the nation’s diet: action for a healthier future

To effectively respond to the public health challenge of diet-related ill health, a range of actions are required across the UK.

Steps to increase physical activity levels in the UK

This briefing examines the current low levels of physical activity in the UK and the significant inequalities that exist in levels of physical activity within the population.


The BMA has a long history supporting measures to reduce tobacco-related harm and have wide-ranging policies aimed at strengthening tobacco control and helping smokers to quit.

Protecting people from threats to health

Antimicrobial resistance

We believe a one health approach is needed across human medicine, veterinary practice and agriculture to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Climate change and air pollution

In the coming decades Climate Change and Air Pollution will be the two of the biggest global public health challenges. Tackling them will be vital to the safeguarding of public and planetary health. 

Prevention before cure: prioritising population health

We set out our framework for a cross-government approach to prioritising population health to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.

Addressing the health challenge of long COVID

We have explored the prevalence of long COVID in the UK population and set out what is needed to prevent, manage, treat and support those who are affected. Our report also examines the specific issues for doctors with long COVID.

More support needed to help the NHS reach net zero

We are asking for UK governments to increase their support in helping NHS organisations achieve sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprint.

Supporting people's mental health

Beyond parity of esteem report

Achieving parity of resource, access and outcome for mental health in England

The impact of COVID-19 on mental health in England

Our paper outlines the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on population mental health and calls for improvements to mental health services to ensure they can respond to needs of the population.

Suicide prevention during economic crises

Measures to help prevent suicide.

Failing mental healthcare system

Read the recommendations and full report.

Addressing social determinants that influence health

Health at a price: reducing the impact of poverty

Within the healthcare setting, action can be taken in a range of ways to help reduce the impact on health, and doctors can play a key role in supporting action in this area.

Health in all policies: health, austerity and welfare reform

This briefing aims to support doctors’ advocacy role in protecting health during times of austerity, setting out the potential harms to health of austerity and the action needed to prevent them occurring.

Cutting away at our children’s futures: how austerity is affecting the health of children, young people and families

A report focusing on the impact of austerity and welfare reforms on children, young people and families.

Reducing health inequalities in your local area: a toolkit for clinicians

This toolkit is intended to support clinicians working across the UK.

Valuing health: why prioritising population health is essential to prosperity

A project initiated by Professor Neena Modi, BMA president 2021-22, published on 11 October 2022.

Our country is getting sicker

The BMA is calling for urgent action to protect our health and address growing inequalities.

Improving care and people's experience of services

Supporting a healthy childhood: the need for greater investment in services

A safe, supportive and happy childhood environment is widely understood to be vital for a child's development, health and wellbeing over the short- and long-term.

Drugs of dependence - the role of medical professionals

This report was first published in 2013 and seeks to open and refocus the debate on drug treatment and drug policy through the eyes of the medical profession.

Prescribed drugs associated with dependence and withdrawal

Prescribing of psychoactive drugs is a major clinical activity and a key therapeutic tool for influencing the health of patients. But often their use can lead to a patient becoming dependent or suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Cannabis-based medicinal products

What constitutes cannabis-based products for medicinal use, who can prescribe them, and under what circumstances.

Improving immunisation coverage rates across the UK

The BMA strongly supports vaccination programmes as a key intervention for improving population health. Read our view on what action is needed to improve coverage rates.

Improving the health of specific groups

Child and young people's health

The BMA has a longstanding interest in child health and the impact of social inequalities on health outcomes for children and young people.

Growing up in the UK: ensuring a healthy future for our children

Our keystone report concluded that we are failing our most vulnerable children, and expressed major concerns about the effects of poverty and social inequalities on child health and wellbeing in the UK.

Growing up in the UK 2016 review

Three years on from our 2013 report, we undertook a review of the developments in child health since its publication.

Autism spectrum disorder

It is estimated that around 700,000 people in the UK have a diagnosis of autism. One in 100 children in the UK have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. We have raised concerns about the time it takes for diagnosis, as well as specific issues with the support offered in England.

Growing older in the UK: a series of briefings on ageing and health

We explore a range of topics relevant to supporting and improving people’s health and wellbeing as they grow older in the UK.

Women's health

A series of reports on preventing and improving the physical and mental health of women in the UK.