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Failure to tackle health inequalities is a false economy, meeting hears

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4236 (Published 28 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4236
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

England’s new public health bodies should not let the “immense” funding difficulties in local government slow their progress in reducing health inequalities, experts have said.

Jessica Allen, deputy director of University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, said that failure to tackle health inequality was costing the country around £70bn (€82bn; $107bn) a year. This was estimated in productivity losses, lost taxes, higher welfare payments, and additional NHS healthcare costs, she said.

Allen said that the new local health and wellbeing boards in local authorities had to take such factors into account. “When you’re required to reduce health inequalities, look at the cost …

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