The Health Select Committee chairman has called the governments health premium policy half baked after a report has been made into the public health reforms, and he has called for the new scheme to be scrapped. The new health service is known as Public Health England and will see grants awarded to local authorities as per their needs. More funding will be provided to local authorities who have been able to improve the health of the population.
The committee however has raised many concerns that this will move resources away from areas with the most problems. A member of the group is Stephen Dorrell and he has said, “The government have incorrectly analysed our public bodies behaviour and the new policy just shows how deep the lack of understanding is.”
The chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing is Dr Peter Carter and he has said, “This new policy is going to increase the level of health inequality throughout the country, it is untried and untested and is not ready to be a part of our health system.”
The government also say that public health services are currently costing £4 billion and this is certainly something that has made people question the report. Mr Dorrell has commented that the only way this figure would be reached is if dentistry was included. He commented, “The figure seems to be entirely mythical and nothing more than the result of a mistake by Whitehall.”
Many members of the committee also suggested that the money could be used to achieve more useful goals, saying that there are plenty of other legitimate causes that need the money more. Many others have become concerned that ring fencing the money will mean that it is raided by local authorities for spending in other areas.
The British Medical Association has backed the committee saying that, for the protection of public health it is essential that Public Health England has real independence and that it is free from being constrained by the central government and is able to make decisions on its own.
Currently the NHS is facing its greatest financial challenge ever and there must be funding so the doctors can work to reduce health inequality and improving the health of all people in the UK.
The Labour MP in Easington is Graham Morris and he is a member of the health select committee and has said, “There are too many organisations that are able to directly influence and change governmental policy. This is not a position that the government should be in and it should not be manipulated by companies. It can stop this and it should make greater efforts to do so.”
The director of professional activities for the BMA has said the responsibility deals are giving too much power to the alcohol and food industries. She commented, “They are being allowed to dictate policy on public health and this is not something that is going to help the alcohol and obesity problems in the UK.”