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Volume 264: debated on Monday 23 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what criteria are used to ascertain the suitability of an illness for inclusion in "The Health of the Nation" as a key area; and how many of these criteria are met by osteoporosis; [38426](2) what research has been conducted into the suitability of osteoporosis for inclusion in "The Health of the Nation" as a key area; and if he will make a statement. [38427]

The criteria used to determine the five key areas as set out in "The Health of the Nation" White Paper (Com 1986) were:

the area should be a major cause of death or avoidable ill-health;
effective interventions should be possible, offering significant scope for improvement in health; and
it should be possible to set objectives and targets, and monitor progress towards them.
The Department of Health published the report of its advisory group on osteoporosis in January 1995. Copies of the report were distributed to all national health service bodies in England and are also available in the Library. The Department is presently working to implement many of its recommendations, including that further work be done to measure osteoporosis against the criteria for inclusion as a "Health of the Nation" key area. This year, the Department has increased its support for the National Osteoporosis Society from £20,000 to £50,000.