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NewsUK life expectancy stalls as BMA calls on Government to adopt a...

UK life expectancy stalls as BMA calls on Government to adopt a health in all policies approach

The British Medical Association (BMA) is calling on the Government to adopt a health in all policies approach.

The representative organisation is calling on the UK Government to value the importance of health care in all policies.

This comes as life expectancy in the UK has stalled and the UK gross domestic product (GDP) has increased.

Children born in 2022 are now expected to live five years less than was projected ten years ago. Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash.

Government statistics have revealed that despite the health of the economy improving, children born in 2022 are now expected to live five years less than what was projected ten years ago.

Reports also show that healthy life expectancy in the UK was falling before the pandemic, with children born in 2017 to 2019 expected to live fewer years in good health than earlier years.

The BMA believe that this highlights that the true toll of the pandemic is not yet fully understood.

BMA President Professor, Neena Modi said: “The news that the health of our economy is bouncing back after a crippling two years, returning to almost pre-pandemic levels, will be of huge relief to many people.”

Reports have revealed that the GDP – a rough approximation of the goods and services produced by a country – increased by 7.5% in 2021.

Modi continued: “However, while the nation hopes the worst of the economic hit of the pandemic may now be behind us, the true toll on health has yet to be fully understood.

“GDP doesn’t reveal much about the things that really matter to people, such as health, wellbeing and living standards.

“GDP may have grown over the last decade, but life expectancy has stalled. Just last month, Government statisticians released data showing that children born in 2022 are now expected to live five years less than was projected ten years ago.

“Even before the pandemic, healthy life expectancy in the UK was falling, with children born before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019 expected to live fewer years in good health than children born from 2014 to 2016.

“This is a catastrophe, for individuals and for the nation.”

This rising cost of living is putting pressure on the ability of many people to live a healthy lifestyle.

Reports reveal that nearly two thirds of UK households have experienced higher energy bills this winter.

A further 16% of households have had to cut back on they quantity or quality of food they buy in order to afford essentials.

Modi added: “These facts make for uncomfortable reading but Government must tackle them head on if they are to honour their promise to create a more equal nation.

“Last week’s long awaited Levelling Up white paper recognised there is much more to national success than GDP.

“The Government and the Treasury must now move their focus to the things that will make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.” 

“Good health is priceless and the Government must value it by recognising its importance in all their policies.”

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