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Highland health summit looks for new ideas in battle to improve public health

Issued: 15 Sep 2008

Senior officers from a range of public bodies and some Highland MSPs will gather in Inverness on Friday for the first Highland Health Summit.

NHS Highland’s Director of Public Health Dr. Eric Baijal is hosting the innovative event designed to get influential people in the Health Board’s area to agree what action they can take to support people to improve their health. Among those attending will be senior representatives from Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade and the UHI Millennium Institute as well as some of the areas MSPs.

Helping to inspire discussion will be leading public health expert Professor Phil Hanlon from Glasgow University.

Professor Hanlon said: “We’ll be looking to generate new ideas, new initiatives and new energy to bring down the barriers that stand between many people and good health. At this stage looking at how we address issues like obesity and alcohol misuse feels daunting but we’ve succeeded before and with enough tenacity and time we’ll succeed again. It will take more than just the health board to get results so bringing people together like this is important.”

Last week Dr Baijal published his Annual Report Making Highland Healthy in which he highlighted that no one person or agency can make Highland healthy but that everyone doing what they can in their own personal and professional lives could make a big difference.

Dr Baijal said: “The people coming to the table on Friday have a lot of power over the factors which influence our health. The economy and jobs, transport, the buildings we live and work in, law and order, education, leisure and of course the health services we need. None of them can make people healthy but they can make it easier for people to choose healthier lifestyles. If we all play our part the population will get healthier faster.”

You are invited to a photo and interview opportunity at Inverness Town Hall at 1.00pm on Friday 19th September 2008.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme