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Government’s response to inquiry on public health raises fears of more cuts

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6853 (Published 30 December 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6853
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

Ministers have missed an opportunity to radically strengthen public health in England and allay MPs’ concerns about the sector, experts have said.

The government’s “disappointing” and “simplistic” response to the health select committee’s inquiry into public health has also raised fears that there could be further spending cuts.

Michael Watson, Nottingham University’s associate professor in public health, told The BMJ, “The government hasn’t even said that they will maintain public health funding, let alone increase it significantly, which is what is needed. They seem to think that public health can be done with little or no money.”

The all party health select committee, chaired by Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, published a report on public health after 2013 in September 20161 that urged ministers to commit to protecting funding after cuts of £200 million (€235m; $245m) were made to local authorities’ budgets.

The committee …

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