The current Public Health Review in Wales provides an opportunity to remedy the serious undermining of the public health function caused by the so called “unification of the NHS” of 1974. We consider that the public health function should be transferred from the NHS back to local government where it rightly belongs. The establishment of Local Health Alliances in Wales provides the ideal vehicle for the development of the new public health agenda but these require leadership which the public health function, located within local government could readily provide. Further that this AGM resolves to support having an annual Public Health Congress in Wales to give wider impetus to the role of public health in today¹s society.
Minister of Public Health
The re-election of a new Labour Government presents an opportunity to establish a new post of Minister for Public Health. Unlike the present post which is located within the Department of Health and has, in practice, been subordinate to the NHS sickness agenda the new post should be either non Departmental or located within a more appropriate Department ie the DETR or whatever equivalent Department replaces it. Its role would be a cross cutting one identifying opportunities for promoting the health and well-being of the population and for reducing inequalities in health and well-being across the whole range of government activity.