City Cabinet Member warns Health funding cuts could be disastrous

Responding to Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of a £200 million cut to funding for Public Health nationally, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, has warned:

“I’m very concerned about the announcement that £200 million of cuts will be made to the local government public health budget.

“At best this is short-sighted, at worst I’d have to say it’s irresponsible. The public health work funded by councils is vital if we’re going to take a preventative approach to health and without it we risk overloading the NHS.

“Our work in Birmingham tackling obesity and physical activity, for example, is vital if we want to reduce the burden of preventable disease on the NHS. If we’re forced to cut that work, we will see an increase in heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and much more.

“The Government is keen to stress that NHS budgets are being protected but this will increase pressure on NHS services and could be disastrous for the people of this city.”

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, added: “Our plans for 2015/16 are based on funding agreed with the chancellor just six months ago but this announcement could mean we have £6.5 million less to spend on vital services.”