We must end health inequality
Public services union Unison set up a Health Inequalities Commission with Neil Findlay, Scottish Labour MSP for the Lothians. Last week, the report from the Committee was published.
It calls on our party, and the country as a whole, to do to address the root causes of health inequalities.
We’ll take up that challenge. Scotland has the means to tackle the gap between the richest and the rest. We will find a solution using a range of policy approaches to seriously tackle the scourge of health inequality.
Here’s what Deputy Leader Alex Rowley had to say on the day the report was published:
“Audit Scotland has exposed the range of problems facing our NHS. It is clear that the sticking plaster approach of the SNP Government is not working, not serving our NHS, not supporting staff and not delivering the care patients need.
“The report from the Commission today builds on the growing consensus that tackling health inequality means closing the gap between the richest and the rest in a range of policy areas.
“We see this document for what it is; an aspirational document guiding Labour towards the pitch we should be playing on.
“Health inequality is a scandal. We have the means, the tools, the knowledge and the wherewithal to do something about this, yet health inequality remains stubbornly persistent in Scotland. That is simply not good enough.
“This report lays down a challenge to the Scottish Labour Party and to the country as a whole. We intend to take up the challenge and start to address some of the root causes of health inequality outlined in this report.
“In employment, education, local government, housing, health and within the Government itself and how the Government actually deals with this issue we intend to listen to what this report is saying.
“It also makes clear that tackling health inequality is not simply down to directing the NHS and resources from it. We accept this assessment and agree with the report that a coordinated, cross portfolio approach is necessary if we are to seriously tackle the scourge of health inequality.”