The results of the Public Health Law consultation have been published with over 350 Islanders responding to the consultation.
The aim of the consultation was to seek Islanders’ views on the development of a new public health law to replace the current Loi (1934) sur la Santé Publique.
The first stage of the consultation began on 15 June and was a high-level overview of key policy issues still under consideration, which is mainly concerned with the overall scope of the new law.
The consultation outlined how the law could be used to:
- better respond to public health risks from both long-term conditions such as diabetes and heart disease
- help address health inequalities
- influence wider social factors affecting health, such as housing and education
Feedback on the consultation proposals included:
- 82% of respondents agreed that there should be a process to evaluate the impact of policies and legislation on public health.
- 50% of respondents did not think a new law should enable action on non-communicable diseases (Heart disease, diabetes, etc.)
A key objective for the development of the law is to ensure that the Government can effectively respond and manage a wide range of risks that may threaten the public’s health. This includes preventing long-term chronic illnesses, reducing health inequalities in the population, as well as responding to day-to-day risks such as an outbreak of measles.
The consultation also focused on the proposal to undertake a Jersey Needs Assessment (JNA) which would enable analysis and understanding of the health and wellbeing of the population; which in turn would help to ensure that government priorities support better health and wellbeing outcomes for islanders. 58% of respondents felt that a JNA was important and 43% of respondents felt that the JNA should be required by law.
The feedback received will help inform decisions on public health related issues and refine the policy objectives for a new public health law.
Islanders will have the chance to respond to a second consultation, which will outline more detailed proposals and aspects of the law, later this year.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “We are grateful for this feedback as it provides valuable insight into Islanders’ views about the proposed new law.
“We all value good health and it is one of the Government’s priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of Islanders. The new law will enable the Government to make informed decisions which will ultimately keep Islanders safe and healthy.”
Government of Jersey News Release.