Friday, December 06, 2013

A public health emergency in the UK

How bad is the recession over in the UK? This bad:

The shocking impact of recession and austerity on England’s poorest people has come to light again in figures showing the number of malnutrition cases treated at NHS hospitals has nearly doubled since the economic downturn.

Primary and secondary diagnoses of malnutrition – caused by lack of food or very poor diet – rose from 3,161 in 2008/09 to 5,499 last year, according to figures released by the health minister Norman Lamb.

While the data does not include information on the circumstances of each diagnosis, the rise coincides with a dramatic increase in the cost of living, and a spike in demand for charity food hand-outs.

Public health experts are now calling this "a public health emergency", and they're right. What's worse is that its one which has been exacerbated by the government, through cuts to benefits and housing. But hey, its only the poor. And the government has much better things to pay for, like aircraft carriers and Trident.

This is simply fundamentally indecent. There's no other way to describe it.

And for the curious: according to NZ health statistics, there were only 65 diagnoses of malnutrition in