Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Prevention is the role of governments, not health systems

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l228 (Published 18 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l228
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief
  1. The BMJ
    Follow Fiona on Twitter @fgodlee

We are told that prevention is at the heart of the long term plan for the NHS, published last week (doi:10.1136/bmj.l80; doi:10.1136/bmj.l85). This sounds like good news; prevention is, after all, better than cure. But we should be wary of suggestions that it’s the role of the NHS to prevent disease. There are many good elements of secondary prevention in the plan, as Rachel Chapman and John Middleton point out this week (doi:10.1136/bmj.l218), but there are also many other calls on the NHS’s limited …

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