BMA report

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.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Thursday 26 August 2021
Topics: Population health
Public Health Article Illustration

What you will get from this report

  • Actions set out to indicate the steps needed to truly prioritise prevention.
  • Our framework for preventing physical and mental ill-health.
  • Examples of some of the individual measures that are needed to improve physical and mental health in the UK.


Key recommendations

  • Address the social determinants that influence health.
  • Increase and sustain funding for public health.
  • Employ effective regulation to tackle the key drivers of ill-health.
  • Prioritise prevention through the health service.


  • A long history of advocating for public health
  • Taking a more comprehensive approach to population health
  • Applying the BMA's framework for preventing physical and mental ill-health
  • Prioritising prevention through the health service
  • Increased and sustained funding for prevention
  • Effective regulation to tackle key drivers of ill-health
  • Addressing the social determinants that influence health