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Plenty of bold action for politicians to take on public health

A study published in the Lancet indicates that the pace of change in reducing premature mortality in the UK has fallen behind the other 14 original members of the European Union, Australia, Canada, Norway and the USA over the past 20 years.

Six decades of universal free healthcare and measures such as the introduction of public health initiatives have failed to improve the UK's health outcomes, according to the study.

FPH's Vice President Dr Edmund Jessop, who wrote a comment article in the Lancet about the study, said: "Although the UK has done very well in the past 20 years in many areas, there is still plenty of bold action by politicians and the body politic." In his article, Dr Jessop calls for:

  •  plain packaging for cigarettes
  •  minimum unit pricing for alcohol
  •  banning of trans fats
  •  improved control of hypertension
  •  attention to psychiatric disorders.

Dr Jessop said: "We need this bold action to protect health, save lives and prevent the UK languishing at the bottom of European league tables for life expectancy."

Written: 05/03/2013 , last modified: 03/05/2013