Editorials

On advising politicians

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6940.1313 (Published 21 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1313
  1. M McKee

    Health professionals have often claimed that politicians do not listen to them. When given the opportunity to have their voices heard they do not always make the most of it.

    The Rhodes health forum, convened under the Greek presidency of the European Union last week, offered an opportunity for ministers of health and professionals to come together to discuss ways of making fundamental choices on health. Reflecting the interests of the Greek minister of health, a cardiologist, the meeting focused on what might be done to tackle cardiovascular disease.

    This was an important meeting and one of the first attempts to bring together politicians and professionals since the Maastricht treaty came into force. Article 129 of the treaty has given the European Union competence in public health for the first time. This should be welcomed for at least three reasons. Firstly, many European Union policies, including policies on agriculture, transport, and the free movement of goods and services, …

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