Published: 04/03/2004, Volume II4, No. 5895 Page 24

My major criticism of the Wanless report is that it focuses on areas in which the Department of Health is already active - tobacco, obesity, diabetes. It seemingly only nods in the direction of the core public health areas of infectious disease, including sexual health, and the environmental determinants of health. It has a DoH bias, and the roles and importance of other government departments and sectors is underplayed.

As demonstrated by the media coverage, it can also be read as emphasising the individual's responsibility for their health at the expense of addressing the impact of wider socio-economic determinants particularly related to poverty.

Sián Griffiths President Faculty of Public Health