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'The government should put equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policies'
30 June 2021, 16:34
James O'Brien speaks to Sir Michael Marmot
Professor Sir Michael Marmot has told James O'Brien that he'd like the the government "to put equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policies", in response to its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sir Michael, who is a Professor of Epidemiology at University College London (UCL), made his desire clear after working on a report which showed that Greater Manchester's Covid mortality rate has been 25% higher than the England average during the pandemic.
The figure in question was calculated for the 13 months up until March 2021.
Asked by James O'Brien if he was shocked by what he found, Sir Michael told LBC: "I was shocked by the magnitude but not the direction."
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He later said: "So we looked pretty poor going into the pandemic over the last decade, and then during the pandemic we had the worst handling of it.
"We had the highest excess mortality of any rich country, even worse than the US.
"And what's the link? And my speculation is it relates to the quality of governance. What do I mean by that?
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"I would like government to put equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of all policies.
"Now the government, from 2010 on, had at the heart of all their policy reduction in public expenditure [and] rolling back of the state.
"They didn't have equity of health and wellbeing at the heart of their policies."