'Comprehensive approach needed to health inequalities' - Sheehan
Addressing the link between deprivation and poor health outcomes requires a comprehensive response right across our society, Sinn Féin spokesperson for health Pat Sheehan has said.
The West Belfast MLA was commenting on the latest Department of Health statistics which again confirm the large discrepancy in life expectancy rates between people living in the most and least deprived areas.
Pat Sheehan said: "Today’s Health Inequalities report shows once again that those living in the most deprived areas are disadvantaged in terms of the health outcomes they can expect.
“On average, men living in the most deprived areas have a life expectancy which is seven years lower than their counterparts in more affluent areas. For women, the figure is five years lower.
“Clearly, that needs to change and that will require a comprehensive approach right across every section of our society.
“Health services must be made as accessible as possible to everyone and people need to be supported to live healthy lives.
“But successfully tackling health inequality will also require a broader approach that tackles deprivation, addresses issues like income inequality and delivers appropriate housing and quality education in deprived areas.”