Intended for healthcare professionals


London's health: a role for the new mayor

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:478

The mayor could have more influence on London's health than its hospitals

  1. Richard Harling, Editorial registrar
  1. BMJ, and registrar in public health medicine, East London and the City Health Authority

    London is not a healthy city. Overall mortality is falling more slowly than in the rest of England,1 and infant mortality compares unfavourably with that ofother European capitals.2 The city is blighted by pollution,3 and there are particular problems with HIV infection, substance misuse, teenage pregnancy, tuberculosis, and severe mental illness.4 The seven million people who live in London are aware of the problems: a poll revealedthat they regard their city as an unhealthy place, and they think it is going to get worse.5

    Last May Londoners voted in favour of establishing a Greater London Authority (GLA), made up ofan elected mayor and an elected assembly. The legislation is on its way through parliament, elections will be held in May next year, and the mayor and assembly will start work on 3 July 2000. The new authority will be responsible for “promoting economic and social development in London and improving the environment.” The mayor will have sweeping executive powers and …

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