LETTER: We are facing a health ticking time bomb

Prevention is better than a cure and this is especially true when it comes to public health spending in the UK.

A recent series of papers published by the British Medical Association highlights how cuts to public health budgets – expected to total £400million by 2020 - have undermined a prevention-based approach and are a false economy, ultimately costing the NHS more money in the long run. 
The Government’s watered down strategy on childhood obesity and failure to place tighter restrictions on smoking and alcohol consumption means we are facing a ticking time bomb as services in Derbyshire reach breaking point.
Politicians must commit to working with healthcare professionals to deliver an effective public health strategy as, with the correct public health approach, there is a greater chance of preventing illnesses such as type two diabetes which continue to increase year on year. 
As well as the financial implications of failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation, the health and wellbeing of the nation has and will continue to suffer if the Government does not intervene and commit to funding a long-term sustainable public health strategy.

Dr Peter Holden

BMA East Midlands regional council chairman