Official figures from ISD Scotland have revealed that Dumfries and Galloway NHS 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 44.7% of people eligible to get bowel screening tests from the most deprived areas of Dumfries and Galloway were tested compared with 69.7% from the most affluent.
This colossal difference is one of the worst in the country and has been criticised by South Scotland MSP and Shadow Health Minister Colin Smyth.
Colin Smyth said:
“These are deeply worrying results for Dumfries and Galloway and show a massive gap of more than 20% between the richest and poorest communities when it comes to screening for bowel cancer, and that is nothing short of a disgrace. Although this is a problem across Scotland, when you compare our region to our neighbours in Ayrshire and the Borders, we fair far worse with the largest gap between rich and poor communities when it comes to screening.”
“The SNP government and NHS Dumfries and Galloway 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.”
“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. It is time that NHS Dumfries and Galloway began to focus far more on supporting health care in our most deprived areas and ensured that health care is available to all.”
For a full breakdown of results please see: