Motion S5M-13630: Poorest More Likely to Die Early

24 Aug 2018

That the Parliament deplores the findings in the National Burden of Disease, Injuries and Risk Factors study carried out by NHS Health Scotland, which states that those living in the poorest areas are twice as likely to die early; thanks NHS Health Scotland for carrying out the work on this study to inform policy debate and provide a focus on the health inequalities facing the most disadvantaged in society; understands that 32.9% of Scotland’s early deaths and ill health would be avoided if everyone had the same living standards as those living in the wealthiest places in Scotland; agrees with Dr Diane Stockton, the lead author of the study at NHS Health Scotland, that “It does not have to be this way. The fact that people in our wealthiest areas are in better health and that conditions that cause most of the ill health and early death result from things we can change – like illnesses associated with mental wellbeing, diet, drug use and alcohol dependency – shows that it is possible to create a fairer healthier Scotland”; recognises that the report calls for more than just the encouragement of health choices, looking instead at tackling the root causes of poverty, and calls on all levels of government to recognise what it sees as the unfairness of the current inequality and commit to levelling the playing field to ensure that everyone has the right to a long life.