Health – why the Conservatives have the worst record since at least 1891
London, November 2017: Research linking cuts in government health spending to higher mortality rates in England has been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ Open). Ten leading medical researchers from universities including Oxford, Cambridge, and UCL found that spending cuts, in particular cuts to public expenditure on social care were associated with 120,000 excess deaths estimated to have occurred in England between 2010 and 2017.
Professor Lawrence King, who contributed to the study, said: “It is now very clear that austerity does not promote growth or reduce deficits — it is bad economics, but good class politics. This study shows it is also a public health disaster. It is not an exaggeration to call it economic murder.”
Simon Wren-Lewis, an economist later commenting on the study explained: “It is one thing for economists like me to say that austerity has cost each household at least £4,000: this can be dismissed with ‘what do economists know’? But when doctors say the policy has led to premature deaths, that is something else.”
The findings published in the British Medical Journal align almost perfectly with earlier findings derived from studying the differences between two sets of Office for National Statistics Projections which show not only how many more people have already died earlier than were expected to die in recent years but also that in future many more earlier deaths are now expected due to the faltering government record on health.
To date the stalling of improvements in overall life expectancy, the recent rapid increase in poor health of the population, and the very poor recent improvements in the infant and child health record across the UK, are now convincingly linked to austerity. There is no other plausible explanation. Today, when national life tables are compared, the Conservatives now have the worst record in progress in health since at least 1891.
A talk on all these very recent developments given in Oxford on November 27th: