New figures confirm the “grim” widening health gap between rich and poor, starkly contrasted in Renfrewshire.
Data from the National Records for Scotland reveals that East Renfrewshire residents have one of the highest healthy life expectancy rates in Scotland, while counterparts in the more deprived Renfrewshire Council area do not fare as well.
East Renfrewshire residents have the second highest healthy life expectancy in Scotland at birth, behind only Orkney.
The area – the third most expensive area in Scotland to buy a house – sees residents born there expect a healthy life expectancy of 68.7 years, second to the Orkneys 71.2 years.
In contrast, Renfrewshire residents are born with a healthy life expectancy – the average number of years locals can expect to enjoy good health – of around 59 years.
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The Scottish average healthy life expectancy figure, laid out in the Healthy Life Expectancy 2018-2020 document, stands at 60.9 years for men and 61.8 for women.
Both figures represent a drop from the 2009-2011 statistics, which stood at 61.1 years for men and 63 for women.
The years Scots can expect to live a healthy life has declined each year for the four for females and the last three for males, as the nation’s health worsens.
Women in East Renfrewshire also have a healthy life expectancy above the Scottish average – with a range closer to 70 – while men in the area also benefit from a similar range of life in good health.
The Orkney Islands have the highest healthy life expectancy for women, at 77.5 years, and for men at 71.2 years.
Deprived North Ayrshire had the lowest healthy life expectancy figure for women at 54 years, while Inverclyde has the lowest for men at 54.4.
Renfrewshire’s figure for both was slightly lower than the Scottish average and much lower than neighboring East Renfrewshire
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Women in Orkney can expect to live in good health for 23.5 years longer than those in North Ayrshire, while men on the islands are expected to do so for around 16.9 years longer than the bottom of the table Inverclyde.
The figure supports oft-repeated findings that residents in the most deprived communities spend fewer years in good health and die younger than those in the least deprived.
Statistician Maria Kaye-Bardgett, from the National Records of Scotland who publish the data, said: “These figures continue a trend we have seen in recent years with healthy life expectancy falling for males and females. Healthy Life Expectancy is a key measure of health and well-being in Scotland. These figures are useful for those planning services to meet people’s needs.”
Labour’s Shadow Health spokesman, Paul O’Kane, hit out at the data, saying: “To see differences between people’s life expectancy who live a mere council boundary away from each other leaves a grim and unpleasant feeling.
“It’s shameful that the worst off are the ones who pay the price with their long term health.”
The West Scotland MSP added: “This is yet another reminder of why it’s essential that our NHS is given proper investment so that people, no matter where they live in Scotland, are able to access efficient health care and as a result have a better chance.” of good health.
“We are often told where ‘the most deprived’ areas are, but that’s useless information unless action follows, we need to see these areas get given the extra funding they so badly need.
“Late last year we saw the SNP Government’s cruel plan to cut education funds specifically set aside for the most deprived local authorities in Scotland – the SNP should take note that when it comes to education and indeed health, ‘deprived areas’ are places where investment and support in local services are needed, not callous cuts.”
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