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A not infrequent criticism of public health is that it is bent on telling other people what to do. The “nanny state” accusation is part of this syndrome, but that will wait another contribution. The main point is that the health and healthcare sectors need to set an example in putting their own houses in order with regard to policies and practices relating to a wide range of public health issues, occupational health policies included. Whether we are talking about alcohol, drugs, tobacco, domestic violence and other family problems, and poverty in some measure among lower grades of staff, or whether we are talking about the Green agenda and sustainable hospitals and healthcare premises, it is difficult to see how we can expect to have credibility in the wider society unless we put our own house in order first, and it should be easier to change our own behaviour than to change somebody else’s.
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