Report reveals disturbing scale of health inequalities

Commenting on an Audit Scotland report on health inequalities in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“This report reveals the disturbing scale of health inequalities in Scotland. Wholesale differences in health between those living in the least deprived areas and the most deprived areas should have no place in 21st century Scotland.

“In the face of lower average life and healthy life expectancy than the rest of the UK and much of Western Europe, it is incredible that Just 1.5% of the annual NHS budget is spent on schemes which tackle health inequalities. The Scottish Government must ensure that councils and NHS boards identify what they collectively spend on reducing health inequalities and urge them to work together where possible.

“With an ageing population and tighter budgets it is also crucial that preventative spending is prioritised. This is an investment which will alleviate pressure on the NHS and allow more people to live longer, healthier lives.

“But health inequalities result from social inequalities – poor housing, lack of opportunity and poverty. If the SNP is serious about creating a fairer Scotland it must work across government to tackle this national sore.”