Intended for healthcare professionals

Editorials Election 2017

Time to put health at the heart of all policy making

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: (Published 02 June 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2676
  1. John Middleton, president
  1. Faculty of Public Health, London, UK
  1. president{at}

National government must become a public health government

Improving the health of people in the UK will improve the productivity of our nation, and enhancing our health and care industries will provide a platform for creating health related jobs: the “health dividend.”1 The next UK government therefore needs to make health central to all its policies.2 And it must not surrender our rights to health in the post-Brexit era.3

Local authorities have recognised the opportunity of getting health into all policies, including education, environment, economy, licensing, leisure, and town planning, as they seek to become “public health councils.”4 National government must now become a public health government. The new government must think beyond its term of office and implement policies through which the UK grows the wellbeing of future generations.

Unequal and divided

We live in a divided UK, where gross inequalities in health and life chances persist or have increased.56 Decades of science on inequalities in health require policies to reduce inequalities in income, improve early childhood development, and reduce other social, educational, and environmental disadvantages.57 Inequalities in …

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