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Trade deals could threaten plans to tackle child obesity

by adminjay


The government has recommended that NHS dentists receive a 1% pay rise in 2021 to 2022, sparking calls for a ‘fair deal’.

This follows the latest report of recommendations to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

The British Dental Association (BDA) labelled the news a ‘body blow’ to an already precarious healthcare service.

Pay cuts

‘Ministers seem to have forgotten that NHS dentistry can only survive if it is capable of attracting and retaining talent,’ BDA deputy chair, Peter Crooks, said.

‘After a decade of real-term pay cuts we need all hands to the pumps to address unprecedented access problems and widening inequality.

‘A return to austerity pay will come as a body blow to a service facing a deeply uncertain future. So if the DDRB is truly independent it will offer a fair deal that ensures NHS dentistry can remain sustainable.’

Overdrive

Experts also fear new trade partners could lead to an influx of unhealthy foods in the UK.

Several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are in the midst of forming trade deals with the UK.

But researchers at the London School of Economics found that the US has requested a reduction on tariffs on food produce.

Some of the biggest winners from the EU-Canada trade, which has been rolled across for the UK, were manufacturers of cereals, confectionery and sugar.

‘Tooth decay is already the number one reason for child hospital admissions,’ said BDA chair Eddie Crouch.

‘With COVID set to send health inequalities into overdrive, ministers must not open the floodgates to products that will further undermine the nation’s health.’

As a result, the BDA declared its support to Sustain’s Trick or Trade campaign. This is an initiative that looks at the impact of trade on plans to battle childhood obesity.


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