DoH pledges extra £34 million to tackle health inequalities

The DoH will spend an extra £34 million over 2008/9 to support initiatives to cut health inequalities, health secretary Alan Johnson has said.

He said efforts to improve access to GP practices and plans to build new health centres were at the heart of moves to reduce health inequalities.

The additional funds will support plans including developing capacity to offer individual health lifestyle support, and measures to tackle high infant mortality in particular communities.

In a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research, the health secretary pointed to improvements in life expectancy and infant mortality since the NHS began in 1948. Infant mortality was 34 per 1,000 births in 1948, and has now fallen to 5 per 1,000, while life expectancy has risen every year in the last decade, and now stands at 77.3 for men and 81.6 for women.

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