Taking the Party out of Politics

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Public Health and Timescales

Season 2, Ep. 23

Public Health: maximizing population health gain.

"Basically, whatever resource we have as a system, then we want to use that in the most efficient, intelligent, effective way to get the most health gains for the population." (Andy Fox, Assistant Director of Public Health for Lincolnshire)

In this podcast we explore what Public Health is attempting to do, and the balance between

  • the timescales which are going to make a difference to helping whole populations to live healthier lives, and
  • the timescales of the elected politicians who control Public Health budgets.

This is important work that takes years … overseen by elected politicians who don't have years.

Public Health targets of 10 or 20 years, or more. Sometimes much, much more. Overseen by politicians who will face re-election in 4 or 5 years.

Would you trust elected politicians? They need to show results within a term of office.

But, then again, who else could we trust?

Balancing … Long Term Aims (e.g. Public Health) with Short Term Electoral Cycles

It's a balance which is at the heart of our political system, in this and many other parts of our lives. It requires good people to do the best they can, often working within a structure which is not only unhelpful but nearly impossible.

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