New Office for Health Improvement and Disparities Announced
The Government is to work towards the reduction of health inequalities and disparities through the opening of a new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). The new body will be beginning its work from the 1st October, and is to be co-led by newly appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy.
The OHID is to tackle disparities across the UK and will be part of the Department for Health and Social Care, attempting to minimise health disparities which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Health inequalities are visible across the UK, with life expectancies differing greatly across regions. For example, a woman living in Blackpool will on average live 16 fewer years in good health than a woman born in Brent, London (National Health Executive).
According to the Government, action on health disparities will include “improving access to health services across the country, and coordinate with Government departments to address the wider drivers of good health, from employment to housing, education and the environment”.
“COVID has exposed and exacerbated the health inequalities across the UK. It is critical we address these head-on and support people to live healthier lives. I look forward to getting started”, said the incoming Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the OHID.