Skip navigation
May 9, 2024
ADPH seal logo

The case for a new PH Act

In this week’s MJ, ADPH President Greg Fell, explains why the next Government should introduce a new Public Health Act:

Last year saw the 175th anniversary of the Public Health Act, which introduced a framework for local areas to improve sanitary conditions, food safety and housing.

The Act recognised that improving people’s environment would improve their health – an approach recommended in Chadwick’s report into sanitation levels amongst the poor. Chadwick argued that the cost of improving living conditions would far outweigh the cost of ‘poor relief’ given to families of workers who died from infectious diseases, particularly evident during the cholera outbreaks of the time.

Fast forward to 2024 and the situation is not all that different. While sanitary conditions have improved, our living and working conditions, the food we eat, and our socioeconomic status are all still determinants of our health. Health inequalities are of increasing concern, with people living in the UK’s least deprived areas not only living longer than those in the most, but also living around 19 years more of their lives in good health. And, just as cholera outbreaks highlighted these issues in the 19th century, so too has Covid-19 highlighted them today.

Continue reading Greg’s article in the MJ.

Back to top