‘Health Inequalities must be addressed’ – Sheehan
Health inequalities that see vastly increased rates of smokers and alcohol-related deaths in more disadvantaged areas must be addressed, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Pat Sheehan has said.
The West Belfast MLA was commenting after he and party colleague, Colm Gildernew MLA met with the Chest Heart and Stroke association yesterday (NICHS).
Pat Sheehan commented: "Health Inequality is a serious problem in our society and it is a Sinn Féin priority to tackle it."
"Smoking is one of the biggest drivers of health inequalities.
"According to NICHS, the number of smokers in the most deprived areas is three times higher than those in least deprived areas.
"Similarly alcohol has a disproportionate effect in disadvantaged communities with the number of alcohol related deaths in the most deprived areas estimated at three and a half times that in more affluent areas."
"These inequalities need to be addressed.
"A greater focus on prevention and early intervention measures in tackling health inequalities is needed and I welcome the efforts being made by organisations such as Chest Heart and Stroke in this regard."
"Sinn Féin will continue to engage with organisations on ways to tackle health inequalities through prevention and early intervention."