Choosing Health, Health and Social Care

Choosing Health

In the early days of the current government there appeared to be a high commitment to public health, this was evidenced with the appionment of the minister for public health (Baggott 2000).   However, as with many former governments, policies aimed at improving public health are often embedded in rhetoric rather than reality as evidenced in the continued, rising tax demands placed upon the public to fund national health and welfare services.   In addition, as older adults in society live longer, and the health gap between the affluent and less affluent increases, demands on health services are escalating, however   with growing demands and pressures on the government, spending on public health has increasingly been constrained and under prioritised (Wall& Owen 2002).   In order to serve public health better there was a need for a more holistic, as health interventions only focussed on acute and chronic conditions, rather than a wide range of, issues affecting public health. The White paper Choosing Health (2004), was borne out of a desire to re-establish the NHS as a service that promotes health and prevents disease instead of treating the consequences (DoH, 2004). The paper details government plans to initiate the required action to encourage and enable individuals to make healthier choices and provides a set of principles to support people in making lives healthier. Examining the political approach adopted within the paper is essential in understanding the changing paradigm of the public health agenda.

Government public policy is already captivating action through society to tackle the causes of ill health and reduce inequalites.The Choosing Health white paper (2004) was published to enable people to organize the health agenda for the future. The paper contains policy information and publications relating to commitments made by the white paper, the choosing health agenda is the beginning point for national renewal for changing health of the...