The British Medical Association (BMA) claims the NHS is at “breaking point” because of unhealthy lifestyles, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and cuts to health budgets.
A survey of medical professionals suggested that 62 per cent of doctors have experienced financial cuts in the last year.
BMA chairman Dr Mark Porter said: “When it comes to public health, the UK is going backwards. Prevention is better than cure and cuts to public health have a damaging impact on individuals’ health and wellbeing, and end up costing the NHS more in the long term.”
A Vote for Health, the BMA’s manifesto, calls for urgent action to be taken to improve the health of the nation and to stop further cuts to the budget of the NHS.
“With the NHS at breaking point, and demand on services only set to rise we are facing a ticking time bomb. Whoever is in government next must make tackling the crisis in public health a priority.”
According to the BMA, the cost of treating diabetes in the UK was estimated at £8.8 billion in 2010/11, and is predicted to rise to £15.1 billion by 2035/2036.
The BMA’s manifesto says type 2 diabetes is “entirely preventable through public health approaches, yet, its prevalence is increasing year on year in the UK”.
One preventative measure shown to have success in combating type 2 diabetes is the Low Carb Program. On average, users with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes reduce their HbA1c by 12 mmol/mol (1.1%), after six months and lose 10kg of body weight.
The BMA added that tighter regulation is needed of the food and soft drinks industry, as well as a minimum unit price on alcohol and support for people to quit smoking.
Labour has promised to ban TV junk food adverts before 9pm ahead of the General Election on June 8, 2017, and provide a pay rise to all NHS staff.
A pledge of a 10,000 recruitment drive for mental health staff has been made by the Conservatives and a Liberal Democrat government would raise income tax to help fund the NHS and social care.