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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 1999): Public Health - UK

GOING PUBLIC

W. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 109, 3rd June 1999, p. 6-7

Offers a preview of the longer delayed public health white paper. While the bulk of the action proposed reflects the green paper 'Our Healthier Nation' published in 1998, there are some major new plans, including:

  • replacement of the Health Education Authority by a Health Development Agency;
  • a public health observatory for every NHS region;
  • a new specialist in public health post for non-doctors;
  • a development plan for public health staff;
  • tougher targets;
  • a health risk telephone line to advise on scares;
  • extension of water fluoridation.

PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY : BETWEEN VICTIM BLAMING AND THE NANNY STATE : WILL THE THIRD WAY WORK?

J. Connelly

Policy Studies, vol. 20, 1999, p. 51-67

Article aims to examine the assumptions that identify social and economic circumstances as the principal and modifiable causes of disease. The main features of the 1998 green, paper 'Our Healthier Nation' are examined, in particular similarities to, and differences from, the earlier public health strategy set out in 'The Health of the Nation' white paper. The current evidence regarding social and economic determinants and lifestyle determinants of health and reasons for health inequalities are outlined. The likely effectiveness of different health promotion methods is then reviewed. Finally, some implications of a public health policy based on a vaguely articulated notion of a Third Way, relying on co-operation between government and people, are discussed.

SAVING LIVES : OUR HEALTHIER NATION

Department of Health

London: TSO, 1999 (Cm 4386)

Announces targets, to be achieved by 2010, of reducing the death-rate of people under 75 from cancer by 20%; from heart disease by 40%; from accidents by 20%; and from suicide by 20%. To achieve these targets, defibrillators will be provided in public places to revive heart-attack victims, 11-16 years will be taught first-aid and resuscitation techniques, NHS Direct will be extended, and expert patients programmes will be set up to help people manage their own illnesses. Other projects include new public health observatories in each NHS region which will identify and monitor local health needs and trends. A new Health Development Agency will replace the Health Education Authority, and will be responsible for raising standards.

(For comment see Times, July 7th 1999, p. 8; Independent, July 7th 1999, p. 2 and 6; Financial Times, July 7th 1999, p. 7).

WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU TOO?

W. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 109, June 10th 1999, p. 10-11

In order to reduce health inequalities between rich and poor, the government needs to convince the middle classes that a more equal society is better for everyone. Less egalitarian societies have more violence, higher hostility levels, and less involvement in community life. Redistribution of wealth may make the middle classes less well off, but will improve social cohesion and public health generally.

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