Proposed 7.4% cut in public health budget threatens antismoking and antiobesity initiatives, leader says

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 22 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3412
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Public health leaders have warned that the UK Treasury risks causing a “disaster” to people’s health in England if it implements cuts of £200m (€280m; $320m) to local authorities’ public health budgets by March 2016.

The Faculty of Public Health said that services covering children’s health, obesity, drug treatment, and sexual health could be badly affected. It said that an estimated “flat rate” cut of around 7.4% applied to public health budgets across the country would worsen existing health inequalities.

The faculty’s president, John Ashton, said on 22 June, “No matter where people live in England these cuts are a potential disaster for their health and healthcare.” He warned that there could be increases in unplanned pregnancies and drug related crime if people could not access sexual health or drug treatment services. “Even people …

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