Preventable illnesses such as diabetes and bronchitis are costing the NHS more than £11 billion each year, Public Health England (PHE) has said.
Experts from PHE said that if something doesn’t change, the NHS will become unaffordable, the BBC reported.
Dr Rebecca Wagstaff from PHE said: “When you look back to Victorian times, we worried about things like diphtheria and polio, and we’ve actually managed to conquer those now.
“The new threats are things like diabetes and chronic bronchitis. They could overwhelm us.
“They are illnesses for which there is no cure, and they cost the NHS more than £11 billion each year. That’s a phenomenal amount of money and more than that, it is taking years off people’s lives.”
Commenting on the PHE warning, Dr Helen Webberley from Oxford Online Pharmacy, said some of the most common ailments she sees are illnesses related to smoking and obesity.
“Chest infections, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, hip and knee pain are all very common problems and a huge percentage of these cases would be eliminated if people just stopped smoking and lost excess weight,” she told The Huffington Post UK.
“We all want free healthcare to last forever, but at this rate it just won’t be there for our grandchildren.
“Resource availability and man power in the NHS are at an all time low and if we don’t start looking after ourselves, people will not get the timely treatment they need for the life threatening illnesses they may face in the future.”