Public health strategy will tackle inequality in England

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 12 July 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:75
  1. John Warden, parliamentary correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A new health strategy for England, to break the cycle of ill health due to poverty and deprivation, was initiated this week by the recently appointed minister for public health, Tessa Jowell.

    She committed the government to a major change in policy, which recognises the link between poverty and health and produces an integrated approach. All government policies will in future be evaluated for their potential impact on health.

    “You might call it being tough on the causes of ill health,” she told a conference in London. “Poverty, unemployment, bad housing, social isolation, pollution, ethnic minority status, and gender have for too long been regarded as peripheral to health policy. Public health has been marginalised, and its laws and structures have been neglected.”

    Although such sentiments found a welcome response, there was dismay that the new policy is still so formative and has …

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