Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain has today blasted the Health Secretary for presiding over the neglect of health in Bradford as the Government impose another real terms cut to public health funding in the District.
According to figures that have been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Bradford currently ranks as one of the worst areas in the country for health, with ONS figures placing the District in the bottom 5% of local authorities at 292nd place out of 307. The ONS has also found that the health of residents across Bradford has also seriously declined since 2015.
However, in their latest ring-fenced Public Health Funding Allocation which is provided by the Government to Bradford Council to fund vital public health projects in the Bradford District, Health and Treasury Ministers have provided just under £44 million for 2022/23. Whilst this is an increase of just over £1 million on last year’s funding allocation of £42.6 million, a rise of just under 3%, this is set to be wiped out by inflation which currently stands at over 6%.
As raised by Imran last year, this will also be a real terms cut to public health funding for Bradford on 2015/16 levels, with Bradford allocated £53 million in funding when adjusted for inflation by the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, making this year’s allocation a decline of around £10 million. This also equates to a cut of over £14 in per-head spending, from £99 spent per Bradford resident in 2015/16 (adjusted for inflation), to just £81 in 2022/23, leaving public health authorities in Bradford forced to do far more with far less.
Speaking on the Public Health Funding Allocation provided to Bradford and the District’s health inequalities, Imran said:
“This pitiful level of funding from the Government to help address public health across the District is nothing short of dire, and it just shows how much of an utter disaster this Government has and continues to be for Bradford. We currently sit in the bottom 5% of local authorities for health after over a decade of Tory rule, and despite their rhetoric on “levelling up” left behind areas, Bradford’s health is instead in decline.
“Instead of this real terms cut being pushed by Ministers, Bradford needs the Government to invest in community health initiatives, and I have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to demand that he looks again at the funding allocation provided to Bradford to ensure that we have the support we need to tackle rampant health inequalities across the District.
“This means not just boosting the level of public health funding to at least match 2015/16 levels, if not beyond them given the devastating impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on public health, but also investing in local GP practices in Bradford to ensure that they have the GPs and the capacity to meet the demand and to ensure that no one is left waiting for days on end to be seen by a doctor”