The Government have announced that Public Health budgets are set to be cut by £200m this year as part of a package of savings.
For 2015/16, the government want to make a 7% cut to the £2.8bn budget originally earmarked for councils.
The transfer of Public Health functions from the NHS to local government has given councils an influential role in tackling health inequalities. Examples of the initiatives undertaken by Medway Council include programmes to tackle smoking, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, alcoholism and stress. These areas can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of residents in Medway.
Responding to the announcement, Medway Labour’s Health spokesperson, Cllr Teresa Murray, said today:
“The cuts to PH are very short sighted by limiting access to preventative healthcare more pressure will fall on local health services. Our hospital is working hard to improve and GP services are struggling to recruit. We have more people in Medway with mental health problems than elsewhere in the region and by reducing the help available to people to try to take control of their own health will lead to more chronic illness and disability”.