2020 was a difficult year for many people all over the world (if only we had the benefit 20-20 hindsight at the start of the year). Here is a list of 10 developments I would like to see in 2021.
1. A much better government response to the Covid-19 pandemic with interventions introduced at the right time and correct scale.
2. A rapid rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme so that target groups such as older people, those with long-term health problems, NHS staff and other key workers such as teachers and people working in high-risk occupations can be protected.
3. Awareness that the Covid-19 pandemic must be ended globally, not just in richer countries, and ensuring that people across the globe have access to the vaccines that will be introduced in 2021.
4. Better government policies to address key health challenges and risk factors for poor health such as poor diets, lack of exercise, and obesity; along with the wider determinants of health such as housing, education, poverty, and employment.
5. Greater support for our schools and teachers who have been outstanding in 2020 in trying to keep children educated during the midst of a global pandemic.
6. Respect for science and a reduction in the anti-science conspiracy theories that are some common on social media and in everyday conversations.
7. Greater support and recognition of the role played by primary care in ensuring good access to healthcare and improved health outcomes globally.
8. A positive relationship with our European neighbours and with the European Union.
9. An adequate replacement for the ERASMUS programme so that or students can benefit from the social, cultural and education opportunities that placements at universities in other European countries can bring.
10. An improvement in the IT systems that staff working in the NHS have to use. Poor IT leads to high levels of stress among NHS staff, and wastes valuable time and money that could be used to better effect elsewhere.
This is just a small list. Let me know what’s on your wish list for 2021.