Last September, the Daily Telegraph published an open letter signed by BSAC President, Professor Philip Howard OBE, and countersigned by a number of high-profile organisations and individuals – including MSF, WaterAid, and Lord Jim O’Neill. It supported the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Antibiotics’ call for the Prime Minister to appoint a Cabinet Minister with the sole responsibility of addressing drug-resistant infection and pandemic prevention and preparedness. The APPG’s call was, in turn, supported by 35 Parliamentarians, including several former Ministers.
Several months later, and Mr Aaronovitch, one of the country’s most influential journalists, has today written: “The looming global health crisis caused by antimicrobial resistance will have to be faced with no hope of a quick fix… We need a cabinet minister responsible for global health security… Imagine how much better we might have done in Britain had we had a cabinet minister for global health security – someone with relevant professional expertise in health or science – who could champion the kind of strategy we need to tackle the next global health crisis.”
Today also saw the publication of a BSAC letter in the Financial Times. Responding to a recent special report on antibiotic resistance, the letter articulates the need for an elected representative with the ability to work across all Government departments and all areas of health and science to prevent what has been dubbed the ‘hidden pandemic’.
BSAC firmly believes that by taking decisive action now, the UK Government can show global leadership in an area that has the potential to prove more catastrophic, and more difficult to solve, than the current pandemic, and the Society looks forward to the Government’s response in due course.