Collapse in sexual health checks after funding cuts driving rising STD rates, Labor suggests

0
29

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise throughout England because new figures show that the number of people receiving sexual health checks collapsed when budgets were reduced.

STDs such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are all on the rise, Public Health England has warned before.

Now health minister Steve Brine has admitted that related health checks have fallen by 245,000 in the last three years.

He revealed the figure in parliament after House of Commons library figures discovered that the sexual health budgets of local councils have been cut by £ 55.7 million since 2013/14.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: "These deep notches are completely short-sighted and will only lead to greater pressure on the NHS in the long run.

"The government cannot be taken seriously about its commitment to prevention, while at the same time cutting off essential services that provide birth control, tackle sexually transmitted infections and provide crucial support and advice."

He added that Labor would now use an opposition in parliament to force the government to reverse the cuts in public health budgets.

Ashworth said, "I will ask ministers to start reversing these debilitating cuts to public health and to publish their impact assessments for equality so that we can see what effects these cuts have on society."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said that the decision on how to spend money on local public health services lay with the individual authorities themselves.

He said: "We have a strong track record in the field of sexual health with teenage pregnancies with all-time low and sexually transmitted infections that continue to fall. Sexual health services and tests are now more widely available online – last year more than 11,000 became available diagnoses of online tests reported. "

Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds

Public Health The most recent figures from England show that around 422,000 STDs were diagnosed in England in 2017, compared to 415,000 a decade earlier.

.