Monday November 30th 2015
Lothian MSP and Scottish Greens’ spokesperson on Health and Wellbeing, Alison Johnstone has today branded figures that show funding discrepancies between GPs in poorer and wealthier areas of Scotland as “shocking”. The new figures were obtained by researchers at the University of Glasgow and University of Dundee, and demonstrate there is a £10 (see addendum below)* per person per year funding gap between GP practices in the top 10% most affluent and the 10% most deprived areas.
Johnstone highlighted that health inequalities in her home region and around Scotland are rife, with a 7.3 year gap between Local Authorities in overall male life expectancy, and a 5.2 year difference between Local Authorities in overall female life expectancy. (note 1)
Johnstone urged the Scottish Government to ensure that GPs in more deprived communities are able to deliver a high-quality health service, and called for resources to be distributed according to need, not wealth.
Alison Johnstone said:
“These shocking figures highlight the challenges our NHS is facing trying to provide a decent service to all those who need it. It’s vitally important that help goes where it’s most needed, and the unequal distribution of funding means that doctors in deprived communities are unlikely to have the resources to meet their patients’ needs.
“In Lothian, a person living in one of the more affluent parts of the region can expect to live nearly two decades longer than those from the poorest. If we don’t ensure that people in the poorest areas get the same quality service as wealthier communities, we have no chance of eradicating health inequalities.
“I urge the Scottish Government to take these figures very seriously and to reconsider how it distributes GP resources. It’s time to get back to basics – every single person from in Scotland deserves high quality healthcare, and we must make sure our NHS can deliver.”
*Addendum: In the original article published (30/11/15) the funding gap was incorrectly reported as £7, but it is £10. This article was corrected 01/12/15 14:50Tweet Share on Facebook