Gordon Brown has announced a new cabinet-level committee is to be set up to coordinate government measures on health.
The Prime Minister said the ministerial subcommittee on health and wellbeing will be chaired by Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband.
It will concentrate its work on promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing health inequalities.
Commentators believe the move means Mr Brown is making the NHS an even greater priority for the coming months, as he wants to improve public health to reduce the strain on the service.
He has already floated plans for a new NHS constitution which will set out the responsibility people have to look after themselves in return for the right to treatment.
And he recently unveiled a major drive for the NHS to carry out screening for a range of potentially fatal conditions.
Mr Brown’s official spokesman also revealed that further announcements on measures to tackle obesity may be made in the next few weeks.
He added: “The preventative health agenda is something the Prime Minister takes very seriously. The fact that there has been a new committee created is a reflection of that.”
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