George Freeman welcomes UK lead on dementia

George Freeman welcomes the UK lead in hosting the G8 dementia summit and calls for a Parliamentary debate to discuss how to change the way we think about dementia and how with funding and research it can be defeated.

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con): Yesterday the UK hosted the G8 dementia summit, which had strong international support for the leadership shown by the Secretary of State for Health and the Prime Minister in putting dementia at the front of the G8, and the international challenge and fight against disease. May we have a statement or debate in the House to allow all parties to discuss how we can do more to change the way we think about dementia, from its being something that every old person gets to becoming a disease, like cancer or AIDS, that with effort, collective funding and new science and technology we will defeat?

Mr Lansley: I am grateful to my hon. Friend and I, like Members across the House, was impressed by the support brought together by this country and the Prime Minister in following the issue up at the G8 summit. Colleagues will recall the G8 summit on HIV/AIDS and how that led to a worldwide acknowledgement of the nature of the problem and the removal of stigma in addressing it, as well as investment in research and treatment. We need all of that and more for dementia, because the scale of the task and the challenge is immense and there is no time to lose. The pace at which an ageing population is leading to rising numbers of people with dementia means that immense costs will be associated with care if we do not make great improvements in research and treatment.

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