The World Health Organisation report (news, page 7, 22 June) values our NHS, but also emphasises the inequalities which cause ill-health.

Children are four times as likely to live in poverty in the UK's areas of worst health. The health and social care available to them, despite financial and organisational pressures, reduces this infant mortality by half. This still means they are twice as likely to die early as children in areas experiencing the best health. Improving the health of the whole population needs more than the NHS alone. Tackling inequalities requires action from all government departments - crucially the Treasury - before people become patients. Then both health and health services could top the league tables.

John Nicholson Chief executive UK Public Health Association