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(From Guardian Unlimited)
The government has promised ringfenced funding of GBP4bn to improve the nation's health by tackling issues such as smoking, obesity and excessive drinking in a white paper.
The centrepiece of the much-heralded public health white paper launched today is the move to hand responsibility and power to local authorities, together with the ringfencing of the budget. Under the previous government, public health funds were raided in a frantic bid to pull cash-strapped hospitals out of deficit.
But the money promised, although it is said to be only a baseline, is just a fraction of the total NHS spend, which is over GBP100bn and set to rise to GBP114bn over the …