NHS Health Scotland welcomes the First Minister’s move to prioritise a wellbeing approach to Scotland’s economy.
The economy plays an important role in our health and wellbeing because we know that poverty and income inequalities are major causes of health inequalities. Redesigning the economy with equality of outcomes for all, to ensure everyone is able to participate fully in society, is fundamental to improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities.
NHS Health Scotland therefore supports the new Public Health Priorities, including the development of a sustainable and inclusive economy which puts the health and welfare of people and communities first. This work will continue in Scotland’s new lead agency for improving and protecting health and wellbeing, Public Health Scotland, from the 1st of April.
Gerry McCartney, Head of the Scottish Public Health Observatory, NHS Health Scotland said:
“Public health isn’t often the first thing you thing you think of when talking about the economy. But, public health in Scotland is changing and we must do things differently across all the factors that have an influence on our health.
“Living in poverty is hard and damaging to our health. Having sufficient money is one of the many things that matters to health, along with being socially connected, feeling safe and secure, living comfortably and access to sustainable services. All of these are at the centre of a wellbeing economy and are part of the inclusive right to health.
“Moving towards a wellbeing economy where health, wellbeing and people-led outcomes are the drivers for all policies is a needed shift for everyone to have a fair chance to thrive. It’s a welcome change that puts the wellbeing of people in Scotland first and GDP second. When people are well and thriving, so will the economy. ”
Sarah Deas, Trustee, Wellbeing Economy Alliance (Scotland) said:
“A wellbeing economy is one that delivers for people and planet. Our current economic system is not doing this - it is creating physical and mental health issues. We have designed the economy this way, so we can redesign it with a different purpose; that of collective wellbeing. We welcome NHS Health Scotland’s support for systems change such that the economy delivers good lives for people first-time around, rather than requiring so much effort to patch things up.”