Report finds UK population has worst health in Europe
Experts warn that the UK's health crisis costs roughly $19 billion yearly.
Experts are concerned that the UK is seeing a "sickness explosion" that is costing the economy nearly $19 billion annually.
According to a recent assessment by health professionals, Britain has "among the worst population health in Europe" as a result of obesity, excessive drinking, and significant health inequities.
When combined with an increase in the number of elderly people and a "ballooning demand" for care, this is causing a "health emergency," according to the study, A Covenant for Health.
The research concludes these factors have resulted in a high proportion of "premature often avoidable ill health," which is harming the economy and the NHS.
The report, written by former Labour minister Geoffrey Filkin and former Conservative health minister James Bethell, as well as public health experts and academics from the think tank, The King's Fund, discovered that millions of people in Britain are becoming ill prematurely, forcing many to leave the workforce and adding pressure on welfare expenses.
The report warns that “Without resolute action, it will get worse,” advocating that an emergency program be implemented.
According to Lord Filkin, chair of the Covenant for Health Commission, “There will be 16 million people living with obesity by 2030, and 500,000 will die from smoking and poor air quality over the next five years," adding that “The NHS alone cannot solve this. Far too many of us get avoidable illnesses which harm our lives and cause us to drop out of work.”
The chair added that the population in Britain has done too little to prevent ill health.
Lord Bethell, the former health minister expressed that the public supports measures to "tackle smoking, obesity, heart disease and other chronic illnesses, to address junk food and dirty air, to support healthy communities, and to engage people in their own health," and argues that leaders should recognize this.
Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, weighed in on the matter citing that the economy bears the greatest weight of this issue, aside from people's ill health.
"Whether in terms of higher treatment costs, increased welfare payments, or the loss of potential staff to ill health at a time when many parts of the economy are facing deep workforce shortages. Tackling this problem is not just a job for the NHS – we cannot treat our way out of a public health crisis.”
Days ago, damning new research by YouGov revealed that people in the UK have been compelled to extract their own teeth at home because they cannot access or afford an NHS dentist.
The Health and Social Care Committee's investigation of NHS dentistry recommends "urgent and fundamental reform," citing evidence of pain and misery that is “totally unacceptable in the 21st century."
Making matters worse, the NHS has been dealing with a severe shortage of healthcare workers since many people have been leaving the profession as a result of excessive workload and inflation; they have not had the chance to upgrade their skills.