A Bradford MP has called on the Government to do more to tackle the health inequalities blighting the poorer areas of Bradford.
A report conducted by Public Health England in June 2015 shows the life expectancy in the most deprived areas of Bradford is over 9 years lower for men and eight years lower for women when compared against the least deprived areas, highlighting the severe disparities in healthcare that exist.
The link between deprivation and poor healthcare is also highlighted by national figures from the Office of National Statistics which show that in England, men and women living in the most deprived areas, are up to four times more likely to have a ‘not good’ health rating than their equivalent in the least deprived areas.
Citing these damning figures by Public Health England, Bradford East MP Imran Hussain claimed that “the Government’s attacks on the poor makes this issue worse” as cuts to household incomes and children’s services lead to food poverty and poor nutrition which has been shown to be a leading cause of healthcare problems.
Addressing the issue Mr Hussain said:
“Health inequality between the richest and the poorest in Bradford is a huge problem for the city and the fact that it is so great is deeply concerning as it means that the quality of life and even the life expectancy of those in the most deprived areas is negatively affected simply because of their background and income.
“Not only does this inequality result in poorer life expectancy, it also leads to greater costs for the NHS who have to address the issues that are caused by it, along with a restriction of people’s life chances and their ability work their way out of poverty as numerous studies show health is closely linked to educational attainment.
“Therefore greater action is needed to tackle health inequalities in Bradford and the Government has to seriously invest in NHS services focused on improving health in the poorest people, and stop their widespread cuts to tax credits and Sure Start which are leaving growing numbers of parents unable to provide a consistent and healthy diet and lifestyle for their children, which further exacerbates the situation.”
A Department of Health spokesperson said:
“We want everyone to have the same opportunity to have a long and healthy life. Reducing health inequalities is central to our work – we have introduced legal duties to make sure they are taken into account when planning health services, we have protected the NHS budget, and health inequalities are also considered in local activity to improve public health.”