Green Party rep says postponement of Equal Marriage Bill is justice delayed

Green Party rep Mal O’Hara comments on results of health inequalities report

Wednesday February 28 2018 

Green Party rep Mal O’Hara has commented on the results of the Health Inequalities Report 2018 for Northern Ireland.

The North Belfast rep welcomed the narrowing of the gap between the most and least deprived areas for many health outcomes in Northern Ireland, but warned that much more needs to be done.

The Green Party rep said: “I welcome the progress that has been made but there are still intolerable gaps between the wealthy and the poorest in our society, including suicide, respiratory mortality, drug and alcohol related mortality, self-harm, smoking in pregnancy and teenage births.

“This report revealed that alcohol and drug indicators show some of the biggest health inequalities monitored in Northern Ireland, with drug-related and alcohol-specific mortality in the most deprived areas sitting at around five times the rates seen in the least deprived.

“We’re also seeing an under-20 teenage birth rate in the most deprived areas which is almost six times the rate in the least deprived, while the proportion of mothers reporting smoking in pregnancy in the most deprived areas is almost five times that in the least deprived.

“It is vital that our healthcare professionals and workers in the community and voluntary sector are provided with every tool they need to strategically target these inequalities and it is impossible for this to happen when a political vacuum is leaving our healthcare system in utter disarray.

“We need our politicians to stop doing the same thing over and over again and to be open to more imaginative ways of tackling their differences. It is amply clear that many lives depend on it.”

 

 

ENDS

 

Media Contact: Linda Stewart

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