GOVERNMENT public health plans face disarray because of a shortage of doctors and cash, it is claimed.
The warning comes as ministers prepare to unveil the biggest public health strategy to date, targeting smoking, obesity and sexual health.
A massive NHS shake-up in 2002 saw organisations such as the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health Authority scrapped and replaced by larger strategic health authorities like the West Yorkshire SHA.
At the same time public health budgets and commissioning switched to family doctors and nurses in primary care trusts.
Huddersfield has two PCTs - Central and South Huddersfield.
But the policy has meant public health consultants are often struggling alone with too few resources, reports the BMA News, the magazine of the British Medical Association.
Huddersfield has one public health director, Dr Sohail Bhatti, to cover both PCTs.
Retired Bristol senior lecturer in epidemiology and public health medicine, Sir Alexander Macara, said public health was in a potentially disastrous state.
When he started work in Bristol more than 40 years ago, there were 28 public health consultants. Now there are just five or six serving a larger population.
BMA public health committee chairman Peter Tiplady said it was impossible to deliver public health on the cheap.
The BMA is planning to use the launch of the White Paper on public health in England, due next month, to highlight the problems they face.