Manifesto for a healthy society makes the case for major health reform

Today the Lancet has published a manifesto for a healthy and health-creating society, offering a positive vision for how the UK can benefit from the brilliance of its clinicians, scientists and entrepreneurs.

The manifesto is authored by Academy Fellows alongside other leading clinicians, scientists, social entrepreneurs and cross bench peers. It comes a week after the Academy of Medical Sciences published its report ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040’ and together the two publications give a clear picture of how  our approach to health must evolve to ensure a healthier, fairer future for all.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences was one of the authors of the Lancet Manifesto, he said:

“We cannot ignore the significant health challenges facing our society as a result of an ageing and growing population, rising obesity levels and environmental and economic change. Finding ways to keep the population healthy matters - a healthy society is also a wealthy and happy one. This manifesto sets out a positive vision for the future and is launched alongside the Academy of Medical Science’s report ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040’, chaired by Dame Anne Johnson FMedSCi – our roadmap to changing the research environment to tackle the major health challenges we face.

“We must take advantage of the opportunities afforded to us by our world leading medical and scientific research and new technologies. Alongside this we will need a fundamental change in the way we see health; shifting our focus from treatment to preserving health and preventing illness.

“Most of us would like to think we are doing the best to stay healthy as individuals, but some of the most effective preventative measures are initiated at a national level by government - based on the best available evidence and research – and need to be taken up by all sectors of society including teachers, employers, designers, and businesses. We will see big changes if we can move towards a society that values health, where everything, from healthcare systems to architecture, education and transport infrastructure are focused on maintaining and promoting good health.”

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