'Prevention better than cure in healthcare' - Health Secretary will say

Maricruz Casares
Noviembre 7, 2018

"Any strategy to reduce pressure on the NHS is welcome but will only succeed if it tackles health inequalities as an integral part of prevention and public health" says Dr Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians.

The Health Secretary claims patients need to "take greater responsibility for managing their own health".

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Launching its 'Prevention is better than cure' strategy this morning (November 5), the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said it will "put prevention at the heart of the NHS long-term plan" and greater focus will be put on "primary and community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support".

"Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat".

Helen Donovan, professional lead for public health at the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Matt Hancock must realise his plans will start at a disadvantage as local authorities struggle with planned cuts to public health budgets of nearly 4% per year until 2021."Disadvantaged areas emerge worse off without these vital services, with life expectancy and the poorest bearing the brunt of underinvestment in public health".

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the extra £20.5 billion a year promised by prime minister Theresa May to the NHS in June, gives the DH "a unique opportunity to radically change the focus of health and social care onto prevention".

"It's about people choosing to look after themselves better", he said.

Mr Hancock added the "numbers don't stack up" when it comes to spending on prevention as opposed to treatment.

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The UK now spends £97 billion of public money on treating disease and only £8 billion preventing it, something Hancock says just "doesn't stack up".

Moreover, while the government has been trumpeting the £20.5bn as "the single largest cash injection for the NHS ever", it is important to note that "excluded central funds for public health, making the percentage seem larger and suggesting that public health was not a priority", said Dickson.

He also defended government plans to stockpile medicines, appearing to blame Brussels for the contingency.

"If the borders gum up and it's hard to get lorries across on the ferries because of action the European Union side takes, then we've got to make sure that people can have access to their medicines", the health secretary said.

The document also talks of adopting new approaches like predictive prevention which uses digital technology to provide precise and targeted health advice to individuals.

"Over the course of our lives, our first and most frequent interactions with health and social care services are likely to be with our GP, school nurse, dentist, local pharmacist, social worker, health visitor or midwife", the DH said.

And Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said the plans follow "years of cuts and failed privatisation".

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