Wes Streeting makes economic growth a priority for health sector


The Secretary of State has announced that the Department of Health and Social Care will expand its focus to boost economic growth.

Wes Streeting has committed to supporting the government’s growth mission by improving the health of the nation, getting people back to work and boosting the economy through Britain’s life sciences sector. 

There are now 2.8 million people inactive due to long-term sickness. Improving health and boosting the labour market back to pre-pandemic levels would deliver significant economic growth.

Speaking at an event for the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change yesterday (July 9), Wes Streeting said he has asked the Department of Health and Social Care to expand its focus on boosting economic growth, a day after the Chancellor set out her mission to fix the economy. 

“I want to end the begging bowl culture, where the Health Secretary only ever goes to the Treasury to ask for more money. I want to deliver the Treasury billions of pounds of economic growth,” he stated. 

“This government’s agenda for health and social care can help drag our economy out of the sluggish productivity and poor growth of recent years. By cutting waiting lists, we can get Britain back to health and back to work, and by taking bold action on public health we can build the healthy society needed for a healthy economy. 

The Health Secretary’s plan is to make Britain “a powerhouse for life sciences and medical technology,” combining NHS care and the country’s leading scientific minds to develop modern treatments and help to get the economy booming.

“The NHS and social care are the biggest employers in most parts of our country. They should be engines of economic growth, giving opportunities in training and work to local people, as well as providing public services.”  


Three steps to drive this goal

• By cutting waiting times and improving public health, the government will support people with their health and speed up their return to work, while maintaining the good health of those in work. 

• By ensuring the NHS works hand in hand with life sciences research institutions and medical technology companies, the government will drive the development of new treatments and help grow the industries. 

• The government will use the NHS and social care’s role as local and regional anchor institutions as engines of economic growth, by providing training and job opportunities to local people across the country. 

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