Lives cut short by poverty
Bevan Foundation Director, Victoria WInckler, said she was ‘shocked’ by the latest figures on life expectency in Wales. The Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report for 2011 shows that people living in disadvantaged areas in Wales have a considerably shorter life expectancy than people living in relatively well-off areas. Speaking on BBC Radio Wales Good Evening Wales programme on Tuesday 10th July, Victoria said that the variation between local authorities in Wales was not because of the local environment but because of socio-economic disadvantage. Low incomes, coupled with unhealthy behaviours such as smoking and binge drinking, had a devastating effect on people’s health. Add to this the fact that deprived areas often have poorer health services, and it is clear that action is needed. There is more that the Welsh Government could do to reduce the prevalence of smoking, she said, but the real challenge was to reduce poverty and inequality, and that needed concerted action by the UK as well as Welsh Government, and by local authorities.
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