The RCP has commented on the news that government will not be publishing the Health Disparities White Paper.
Responding to the news that the Health Disparities White Paper has been dropped by the government, Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the RCP, said:
“We are disappointed to learn that, after months of no response, the government has today confirmed that it won’t be publishing the long-awaited Health Disparities White Paper (HDWP).
"The HDWP promised a dedicated focus on health inequality, one where the Department of Health and Social Care would work with the ‘whole of government to consider health disparities at each stage at which they arise…[including]…the wider determinants of health’.
“We recognise the Major Conditions Strategy will aim to address regional disparities in outcomes –– but as we have said many times, focussing on access and outcomes alone will not be enough to close the almost 20 year gap that exists in healthy life expectancy between the most and least deprived. That is why we will continue to call for a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities that uses every policy lever to tackle the factors that make people ill in the first place. Only by considering the wider determinants of health will efforts to help people live longer, healthier lives succeed.”