Health levels in Derry among worst in NI, says Councillor Rory Farrell

Wed, 12/05/2021 - 19:21 -- Editor

A proposal to Council this week from SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell focused on the recent publication of the Health Inequalities Report which analyses health statistics in council areas across the north. 

Addressing April’s full Council meeting, the Ballyarnett representative said,

“The report makes sorry reading. It clearly shows that our health outcomes are poor in relation to other council areas. 

“It has 41 key indicators, and in 25 of those we perform worse than the Northern Ireland average. In 23 of those we are either the worst or the second worst council area.

“And it demonstrates the clear link between poverty and poor health outcomes. In short, areas of deprivation, of which we have many, have far worse health outcomes.”

Cllr Farrell continued, “In terms of male life expectancy in the most deprived areas across Derry & Strabane a man can expect to live to the age of 72.5.

“In Jordanstown, the average man can expect to live 11 years longer. That’s eleven more years with friends and family enjoying life.

“In terms of female life expectancy we’re not much better. In the most deprived areas in this council area the average woman will live to the age of 78.5. 

“In Downshire East in Lisburn & Castlereagh a woman can expect to live nine years longer. These figures are shocking.”

Cllr Farrell concluded “We often talk about regional balance and regional inequalities and it's mostly about university provision and job creation and infrastructure. And we don't talk about health inequalities.

“These inequalities are real. They are clearly documented. 

“The reality is that people in poverty and deprivation are living in pain, they are living complicated lives. They are living difficult lives and they are living shorter lives.”

Motion: Council notes the findings of the Health Inequalities Annual Report 2021 in relation to health outcomes across Derry & Strabane; it expresses concern that 25 of the 41 key indicators are worse than the Northern Ireland average, most notably life expectancy, hospital admissions, alcohol and smoking related deaths, prescription rates for mood and anxiety medication, prevalence of cancers and childhood obesity; it recognises the link between deprivation and poor health outcomes; and it calls on the Executive to implement a strategy to tackle deprivation and poor health outcomes across our council area."