Will address inequalities to level up public health: Sajid Javid
British secretary of state for health and social care Sajid Javid. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
BRITISH health and social care secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to overhaul public and mental health provision and tackle the “hidden costs of Covid-19”.
Speaking at the Grange Community Centre in Blackpool on Thursday (16), Javid said he is “determined” to address the “social backlog” that has built up, including by cutting hospital waiting times.
He said the global pandemic has also shone a light on the health disparities that exist across the country – evident in varying mortality rates, hospital admissions and vaccine uptake. He reiterated the government’s commitment to addressing the inequalities to level up public health.
“More than 5.5 million people are on the waiting list for elective treatment – that is a record high”, he said adding that it “is only one part of the story. Covid-19 has had many hidden costs”.
“Passing the peak of the pandemic has been like a receding tide, revealing the underlying health of our nation. It’s revealed some fractures within. And in many cases, the pandemic has deepened those fractures.
“It’s this government’s mission to unite and level up across the whole of the UK, to build back better and to build back fairer.”
“We’re ending historic injustices by updating our Mental Health Act, ensuring people in acute mental distress are still met with the compassion and choice they deserve…”
“We know that 1 in 4 people living in deprived areas has a common mental health disorder, so we need to look at everything that’s holding people back from living their very best lives”, he said.
“Our long-term plan commits an extra £2.3 billion a year to transforming mental health services by 2023 – expanding them to reach families, communities, workplaces, and schools. And we’re launching brilliant new resources, like Every Mind Matters.”
Javid laid out his mission to level up the public’s health against the backdrop of Blackpool, which has eight of the 10 most deprived neighbourhoods in England, and where 40 per cent of the neighbourhoods are classed as ‘highly deprived’.
“I’m determined everyone gets access to the health and care they need – especially the kind of preventive action that will stop them from becoming ill in the first place. That’s another way we ensure, not just a healthier society, but a fairer society too.”