Wales needs a Public Health Revolution
A Public Health Revolution – with a dedicated Deputy Minister and Public Health Champions within every local authority – will be the focus of a conference contribution by Darren Millar AM.
Speaking at an event to mark the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care’s 20th anniversary, the Shadow Health Minister will also call for a re-evaluation of how public health is embedded into the school curriculum and a dedicated nurse within every school, FE College and university.
As obesity, smoking and diabetes levels continue to rise in Wales, Mr Millar will use his speech to call for a new approach to public health for younger people and an end to health inequalities within communities across the country.
The public health revolution would ensure rapid changes from day one of a child’s schooling; through to local authority accountability; and a seat at the Cabinet table.
Speaking during a ‘political question time’ event at today’s conference, Shadow Minister for Health Darren Millar will put the focus on public health and call for a cross-cutting approach across government, delivered by a dedicated Deputy Minister.
Mr Millar will say:
Labour’s mismanagement of our NHS is the biggest crisis facing Wales today. Our cherished Health Service has been starved of over £1billion since 2011 – and the consequences have been devastating.
Yet, whilehardworking NHS staff are rightly crying out for additional resources and support, one of the biggest challenges facing the Health Service is how our whole society prioritises public health – reducing future strain on the NHS and enhancing the health and wellbeing of Wales’ people.
Now, more than ever before, people across Wales have access to more information, expertise and knowledge about their own health – often at their fingertips.
But something is going wrong.
Public health outcomes in Wales too often lag behind other UK nations – with major impacts on people’s quality-of-life in later years, and on our NHS.
Obesity levels are rising. Diabetes prevalence is rising too. Too many people are drinking too much. And smoking levels remain stubbornly high.
There are also vast health inequalities across different communities and social groups in Wales.
It’s a dangerous situation – and the clock is ticking for our Health Service.
Let's be clear – Wales needs a public health revolution.
And that’s just what a Welsh Conservative Government will ensure.
From the cabinet table, to local government, the classroom and at home – all must play a central role in driving forward public health standards.
That revolution must ensure the prioritisation of public health from a person’s earliest days.
Prevention is always better than cure. Healthy start – healthy future.
Our youngest people must have the support, understanding and education to fully understand the importance of public health.
That’s why Wales must re-evaluate how public health is embedded into the school curriculum. It must be integral.
That’s why we must place more emphasis on increasing physical activity rates among children and young people. We must end participatory divides.
And that’s why every Welsh secondary school, FE college and University must have a dedicated nurse.
This public health focus will be at the heart of our proposals for the next five years – with a dedicated Deputy Minister for Public Health delivering a cross-cutting approach across Government…
… and all Local Authorities required to appoint a Public Health Champion so our town halls meet their commitments in this area.
The next Welsh Government must create a framework that delivers conditions in which people can be healthy. Our communities must have the right support to allow public health levels to flourish.
Public health cannot be an afterthought.
For Welsh Conservatives, public health will unashamedly be a central plank of our Health commitments as we head towards next year’s Assembly election.