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RCP responds to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' report

The RCP’s response on the day of publication of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' report follows.

The president will cover this in his next bulletin to fellows and members (Monday 12 April).

Responding to the report, Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:Earlier this week the government announced its intention for a new cross-government approach to tackling the wider determinants of health, so it’s good to see the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities echo that tackling health inequalities requires action from multiple government departments.

“Health inequalities and the interrelation with ethnicity are complex. We welcome the recommendation for further research into the disparities between different ethnic groups for both mental and physical health condition, taking into consideration ethnicity, geography, deprivation and other social factors.

“As plans for replacing Public Health England are finalised over the summer, we would encourage government to consider the recommendation in this report for an Office for Health Disparities. Whether such a body is created or its intended work remit is given to the new Office for Health Promotion, what matters is that we have a clear, unrelenting focus on understanding the causes of health inequalities. A part of government must be given the responsibility to take action across all government departments to reduce them.

“We need a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, underpinned by funding for implementation and backed by strong political leadership.”