Official figures from ISD Scotland have revealed that NHS Ayrshire and Arran is one of the worst areas in Scotland for health inequalities when it comes to screening for bowel cancer.
The new report released today (Tuesday 8th August) showed that only 45.9% of people eligible to get bowel screening tests from the most deprived areas of Ayrshire were tested compared with 67.6% from the most affluent.
This huge difference on health care between the richest and poorest areas of Ayrshire has been critised by South Scotland MSP and Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth.
Colin Smyth said:
“These are deeply worrying results for Ayrshire and Arran. Effectively these results show that the NHS is not effectively catering for its poorest communities.
“The SNP government and NHS Ayrshire and Arran need to do far more to properly promote screening in our poorest areas. Unfortunately, these are often the very areas that don’t have dedicated health care facilities yet are the very ones that need them most. These tests are vital to detect cancer early, which quite literally saves lives. We cannot have a health care system that ignores these clear health inequalities.”
“The link between deprivation and ill health in a whole host of areas including cancer is unquestionably the biggest health scandal we face. We need to see a far better effort to tackle health inequalities and that includes improving the update in screening in poorer communities. We need a focused effort from both the Scottish Government and NHS Ayrshire and Arran to tackle this gross inequality in our health care and end this imbalance”