It is time that our nation’s health is treated as an asset

Health Foundation response to Health at a Glance Europe 2018 report

22 November 2018

Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation:

‘With life expectancy stalling and health inequalities widening, it is time that our nation’s health is treated as an asset to be maintained and improved over the lifetime. Today’s OECD report, which outlines the estimated cost of mental health problems to the UK at 4.1% of GDP, highlights the importance of good health to the UK’s prosperity.

‘While older people are more likely to experience mental health problems, such problems are also a growing issue among younger people. It is important that strategies to improve health, including mental health, take a life course approach starting from the early years, the transition into adulthood and right through to older ages. There are also stark inequalities with the poorest fifth in the UK almost three times as likely to report a mental health problem as the richest fifth and the underlying causes of health including poverty must be addressed to tackle this.’

Media Contact

Susannah McIntyre
External Affairs Manager
020 7664 4658

Further reading


The nation's health as an asset

A briefing that asks: what is the social and economic value of maintaining and improving people's health?


Building the evidence around the social and economic value of health

We know a lot about the impact of the social and economic determinants on people’s health. However, the relationships are com...


Health as an asset

We want to change the conversation to focus on health as an asset, rather than ill health as a burden.

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