In her first keynote address as Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson will condemn the health inequalities “exposed in technicolour” through the COVID-19 crisis, and call for a Minister for Wellbeing to ensure that Government decisions are “fundamentally in keeping with health and wellbeing.”
She is expected to say:
“The coronavirus has not just laid bare the fundamental problems facing our NHS and care sectors, it has exposed in technicolour the health inequalities facing the UK, and shown us why we need to rethink the way we see healthcare as a whole.
“We have seen the impact of poor and overcrowded housing, insecure employment and our broken welfare system on not just our physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing.
“We have seen those health inequalities play out in real time, most shockingly in the disproportionate impact of COVID on people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, on people with disabilities, and on the poorest.
"When we think about the future, it’s clear that going “back to normal” is not an option. It is time to re-boot and re-think the way we live our lives, and the Government’s role in helping us to do so in a more sustainable, healthier way.
“That starts with making someone at the Cabinet table responsible: a Minister for Wellbeing who will scrutinise the Government’s actions and ensure they are fundamentally in keeping with health and wellbeing.
“As well as this, in the same way that Equality Impact Assessments pushed equality up the agenda, we need to introduce wellbeing assessments to make sure new laws empower people to live healthier lives.”