The Department of Health has launched a government-wide strategy to tackle global health problems.

Health is Global: a UK government strategy sets out principles that will be followed in domestic and foreign policy.

They include considering the impact of all policy on global health, promoting health equity, tackling UK health problems that originate outside the country and learning from other countries' policies.

The strategy also identifies five "areas for action": health security, strong and fair systems for health, more effective international health organisations, freer and fairer trade and better use of evidence for policy and practice.

Health secretary Alan Johnson said£12m would be spent over five years in areas such as climate change policy and health organisations' overseas work to support the plan.

Global issue

"Health is a global issue; it is one that transcends borders and boundaries," he said. "This strategy sets out a clear course of action for the way we will work with others, both nationally and internationally, to improve the health of the world's population, including that of the UK."

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said the plan would address issues such as new and emerging infections and safer delivery of healthcare.