Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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UK’s secretary of state makes economic growth a priority

LONDON, England – Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting has committed to supporting the government’s growth mission by improving the health of the nation, getting people back to work and boosting the economy through our life sciences sector.

Speaking at an event for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change today, Wes Streeting said he has asked the Department of Health and Social Care to expand its focus on boosting economic growth, a day after the Chancellor set out her mission to fix the economy.

Health and Social Care Secretary Wes Streeting, said:  

“I want to end the begging bowl culture, where the Health Secretary only ever goes to the Treasury to ask for more money. I want to deliver the Treasury billions of pounds of economic growth. 

This government’s agenda for health and social care can help drag our economy out of the sluggish productivity and poor growth of recent years. 

By cutting waiting lists, we can get Britain back to health and back to work, and by taking bold action on public health we can build the healthy society needed for a healthy economy. 

We will make Britain a powerhouse for life sciences and medical technology. If we can combine the care of the NHS and the genius of our country’s leading scientific minds, we can develop modern treatments for patients and help get Britain’s economy booming.

The NHS and social care are the biggest employers in most parts of our country. They should be engines of economic growth, giving opportunities in training and work to local people, as well as providing public services.  

“When Keir Starmer said he would lead a mission-driven government, this is what he meant. Working together to a shared mission, this government will get Britain booming.” 

The Health and Social Care Secretary laid out three steps to drive this goal: 

  1. By cutting waiting times and improving public health, the government will support people with their health and speed up their return to work, while maintaining the good health of those in work.
  2. The government will make the UK a life sciences and medical technology powerhouse. By ensuring the NHS works hand-in-hand with life sciences research institutions and medical technology companies, the government will drive the development of new treatments and help grow the industries.
  3. The government will use the NHS and social care’s role as local and regional anchor institutions as engines of economic growth, by providing training and job opportunities to local people across the country.

There are now 2.8 million people inactive due to long-term sickness. Improving health and boosting the labour market back to pre-pandemic levels would deliver significant economic growth.



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