We need to maintain a sharp national focus on the right to health and on those experiencing the worst inequalities in the new national public health body. This is our key recommendation to the Scottish Government’s formal consultation on the statutory establishment of Public Health Scotland.
We are looking forward to and preparing for our part in the new body. Our goal remains to increase life expectancy and the years people live in good health. Our attention stays on ensuring that everyone in Scotland achieves the highest attainable standard of health. To achieve this, part of the remit of public health must be to shine a light on the factors that influence health which are beyond a person’s control, and recommend actions to tackle them. The weight and lawfulness of a human rights lens will help to do this. It draws attention to the persistence of health inequalities, which must be addressed if we are to improve Scotland’s health effectively.
Gerry McLaughlin, NHS Health Scotland Chief Executive, said:
“The creation of Public Health Scotland is a once in a generation opportunity. Not only will it drive the delivery of public health priorities through better integration between local and national partners, but it will help us to increase the reach of our practical and professional advice to the public. We believe that Public Health Scotland has a distinct national role in supporting communities to participate in decisions that affect their health and wellbeing.
“We are confident that Public Health Scotland can be effective in protecting and improving the health of the people of Scotland, and that we can make genuine progress towards a fairer, healthier Scotland.”
For more information on public health in Scotland, visit the ‘our context’ web pages.