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Sinn Féin MLA calls on minister to act on annual health checks for their patients

4 February, 2013 - by Sue Ramsey

Sinn Féin MLA Sue Ramsey has welcomed the Assembly backing for today’s motion calling on the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to make it mandatory for General Practitioners to provide annual health checks for their patients.

The West Belfast MLA and Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee said:

“The old adage that prevention is better than cure is what forms the rationale for this motion. An annual check up with your local GP could to help promote good health, prevent ill health and detect disease at an early stage.

Speaking during the debate on the motion in the Assembly Sue Ramsey said:

 “Health inequalities are of particular relevance to the issue annual health checks by GPs. People living in the most deprived areas have higher rates of lung cancer, coronary disease, alcohol or drug related illness, suicide and mental health problems – all conditions that are preventable.

“We need people who are at risk of experiencing health inequalities in their life to be in contact with the health system early and at regular intervals throughout their lives. Requiring GPs to invite all their patients for an annual health check would make that more likely.”

 “A system of annual health checks offered to all patients by GPs would signal a move away from treating people when they are sick, towards a system with a genuine aspiration to preventing illness and promoting healthy living.” CÍOCH/END

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