That is the stark conclusion in a new report published on the 16th May 2013 by the British Medical Association’s Board of Science entitled ‘Growing up in the UK – ensuring a healthy future for all our children’
The report lays bare the harsh reality that far too many of our children and young people are being let down by a lack of political will. Successive governments have failed to see children as our most precious national resource and to deliver policies and funding streams to protect and promote their best interests.
‘Children are the living messages to a time we will not see’ said American author Neil Postman. This fundamental truth has been recognised by political theoreticians from Karl Marx to Winston Churchill. It is of even greater relevance today as children and working age people become an increasingly scarce and precious resource. In the 1950’s, one third of the population was teenagers and young adults; this will fall to one seventh within 50 years. Babies born today will be at their peak of productivity by the age 50, when the 20-year olds today will be approaching pensionable age. Who will generate the nation’s wealth to support their needs? The successful nurture of children should be the top priority for politicians. The BMA report exposes the fact that they are not.
The welfare of children should be everybody’s business but both health and social care reforms and wider austerity policies are failing to address this vital issue. The situation is reaching a crisis point – this new BMA report suggests how government should respond.
The above was taken from an article by Dr Ingrid Wolfe which has been published on the OurNHS website
Dr Wolfe is Honorary Child Public Health Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Consultant in Paediatric Public Health at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, and Chair of the British Association of Child Public Health.