I attended the event where Duncan Selbie made this speech about public health and the inequality gap. On the way home it got me thinking about the systemic weakness in the UK in terms of prevention and how that always impacts most on the poorer people in our society.
The health position was well set out by Duncan. It's all about the intervention before hospital intervention. Curing someone of cancer is great but very expensive and indeed stressful for all concerned. It's a much better outcome to prevent it in the first place.
Look at the police services. Politicians seem to think that this is measured only by the number of police officers. This is the wrong measure. Police intervention is a failure as a crime as been committed. Far better to put resources into prevention - crime, like poor health hits the poorest hardest.
Banks spend years mis-selling insurance - this hit people on the lower income spectrum much more. Yet proper regulation would have stopped it. The global banking crisis impacted far more on the poor than the rich.
If Brexit causes economic turndown - the Government's own stats say the North will be hit far harder than the South- East. Duncan Selbie articulated the right vision for the UK. The investment needs to be in prevention rather than cure. Until we change our psyche we will get what we always got. We will meet Einstein's definition of madness in perpetuity. Surely not a good thing for the health of the nation.
“Today, the poor are enjoying the health of where the affluent were 20 years ago,” said Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England at the District Councils’ Network conference last week. Despite a doubling in spending on the NHS and a tripling in expenditure for doctors, the health gap between the rich and the poor has stayed static. You are still more likely to enjoy good, long-lasting health if you are rich than if you are poor, according to the UK’s public health stats. And the secret to the UK’s future health statistically lies, according to Mr Selbie, with you: the readers of this very briefing, as he said public health could most easily be improved through direct intervention from local government