‘United approach to health inequalities needed’ - Sheehan
The extent of health inequalities in the North demonstrates the need for a united, concerted approach to tackling the issue, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Pat Sheehan has said.
The West Belfast MLA was commenting after the latest data showed that people living in deprived parts of Belfast and Derry City and Strabane are more likely to die prematurely than in any other part of the north or Britain.
Pat Sheehan said: "This analysis is yet further evidence of the existence of significant health inequalities within our society with a higher proportion of avoidable deaths for those living in deprived areas.
"Higher proportion of people from deprived areas under 75 years of age are dying from heart disease, some cancers, respiratory conditions and type 2 diabetes that could be avoided with timely and effective healthcare.
"It is not acceptable that where you live can affect how long you live.
"There needs to be a greater focus on prevention and early intervention measures as envisaged in Michelle O'Neill's Delivering Together plan for transformation.
"Tackling health inequalities meaningfully means addressing inequalities elsewhere in society which impact on people’s health outcomes.
"All relevant authorities and stakeholders need to work to achieve equality in housing, in education, in infrastructure and right across the board so that we all enjoy long health lives, regardless of where we live."