Thursday, 13 December 2012

Audit Scotland report ‘Health Inequalities in Scotland’ - UNISON comment

Thu 13 Dec 2012

Public services union UNISON today (Thursday 13 Dec) welcomed Audit Scotland’s focus on health inequalities and the need for more preventative services but warned that action must include addressing wider issues such as in-work poverty.

Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said: “We are pleased that Audit Scotland has identified the importance of more preventative services and healthcare focused in areas of high deprivation.

“But, of course, rising living costs and falling incomes are having a huge impact on families just now, with large numbers of people in work struggling financially. They need a living wage. Poverty is a major factor in the deep-seated health inequalities in Scotland.

“However much we want Community Planning Partnerships to ensure health boards, councils and others work together on this, that can only go so far in making a difference if we don’t also address some of the root causes by building a more equal society. At present, the policies of ‘austerity’ are doing the opposite.”


Notes for editors
1.    UNISON was responding to the publication of the Audit Scotland report “Health Inequalities in Scotland.”

2.    UNISON’s “A Fairer Scotland” report lists addressing health inequalities as a key priority, but says all the evidence shows these are linked to other inequalities. “Creating a healthier Scotland is not simply a matter of a strong NHS, vital though that is.” The report is online at

3.    These issues are also addressed in more detail in our 2008 briefing on the 60th anniversary of the NHS.


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