Health Inequalities continue to plague deprived communities - Gildernew
Sinn Féin MLA Colm Gildernew has expressed his concern at the worrying trends revealed in the Health Inequalities Annual Report released today by the Department of Health.
The party's health spokesperson said:
"Health inequalities continue to be widespread across our communities. It is particularly alarming that our more deprived communities continue to suffer from high levels of intentional self-harm, alcohol and drug mortality and substance abuse.
"Today's report contains data that alcohol and drug-related indicators continue to show some of the largest health inequalities monitored in the north, with rates in the most deprived areas five times that in the least deprived for drug-related mortality and four times that for alcohol specific mortality.
"The report also reveals that the death rate for intentional self-harm in deprived areas is almost double that in the least deprived areas.
"While some slight improvements in life expectancy and other measures are identified annually in these reports, year after year we are presented with evidence that our most deprived communities are suffering and that we are making little impact in alleviating that condition.
"It is incumbent on us all to work together to find long-term solutions to the constant inequality across our communities. It will require cross-departmental cooperation if we are to make an impact. It is work that must begin sooner rather that later.”