Matt Hancock has published his vision for how he plans to transform the government’s approach to prevention, paving the way for a green paper in 2019.
You can find the full story online, but here are the highlights. Osteopaths has always championed the causes of disease, so this is really exciting for us. One of my big bug bears as a professional is the lack of personal care and responsibility British people have with their health compared to other nations. I think the NHS has had a part in this, because we have all at times relied on the NHS just being there to pick us up if something goes wrong, but it is time for change.
Matt Hancock said:
Two of the biggest health successes of the 20th century had prevention at their core: vaccination and cutting smoking. In the UK, both were achieved by careful and considered government intervention.
In the UK, we are spending £97 billion of public money on treating disease and only £8 billion preventing it across the UK. You don’t have to be an economist to see those numbers don’t stack up.
A focus on prevention and predictive medicine isn’t just the difference between life and death, it’s the difference between spending the last 20 years of your life fit and active, or in constant pain from a chronic condition. So our focus must shift from treating single acute illnesses to promoting the health of the whole individual. That requires more resources for prevention.
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England said:
Investing in prevention is the smartest thing we can do. We need to move from a system that detects and treats illnesses to one that also predicts and prevents poor health through promoting health in all policies and puts people back in charge of their own health.