Bill-019 - Andrew RT Davies AM - Public Health Improvement Bill
A Member must provide ‘pre-ballot information’ to set out the intended purpose of their proposed Bill before it is entered into the Presiding Officer's ballot. This information is set out below.
Policy Objectives of the Bill
1. A Public Health Improvement Bill would establish annual campaigns to tackle major public health problems – such as alcohol misuse, obesity, smoking and HIV.
2. It would require the Welsh Government to set concrete targets to reduce binge drinking/deaths from alcohol, smoking and obesity rates, teenage pregnancies and STI rates, and drug abuse for 2020, 2030 and 2050. The Welsh Government would be required to provide annual updates on progress against these targets.
3. An all-Wales Public Health Task Force would also be established to look at ways of improving collaboration between health boards, social services, housing, education and leisure services. The Public Health Task Force would also consult on a range of preventative measures.
Professor Ceri Phillips of Swansea University has said: “Wales continues to have high levels of alcohol abuse, obesity and other lifestyle behaviours relative to other countries… it is likely that around 3% of total NHS Wales expenditure – which increases to 10% if smoking is included – can be attributed to the additional demands placed on NHS Wales as a result of lifestyle behaviours.
In an age of pressure on NHS Wales budgets, ways of addressing these behaviours in a cost- effective manner continue to need to be explored”
Wales’ Chief Medical Officer Tony Jewell said: “There is robust evidence that the level of toxic chemicals is very high in cars even with window ventilation… evidence shows that children are also more likely to pick up the smoking habit and continue smoking in their adult years if their parents smoke in front of them.”
The Welsh drugs and alcohol charity CAIS, said there is an “epidemic of alcohol abuse currently afflicting Wales… Unless urgent measures are taken both to improve awareness and restrict supply, we will face a longer term and very costly health and social crisis.”
A Public Health Improvement Bill was outlined in the Welsh Conservative Manifesto (2011). Throughout this manifesto process, consultation responses were received from a number of relevant bodies, including (but not limited to) ASH Wales, Stop it Now!, the Welsh Council on Alcohol & Drugs, and the British Medical Association.
1* BBC, Obesity and alcohol misuse costs £140m in Wales, 31st March 2011.
2* Walesonline, Wales could become first country in Europe to ban smoking in vehicles carrying children, 13th July 2011.
3* Western Mail, Ignorance of alcohol in Wales damaging our health, 25th June 2010.