SDLP: Life Expectancy Still Depends On Your Postcode

The SDLP has condemned the findings of a recent report which highlighted the continued disparity of life expectancy in different areas.

The Department of Health published the latest outcomes for Northern Ireland on Thursday 06 December, revealing that life expectancy between 2015 and 2017 for males was 78.5 years and 82.3 for females.

That figure can vary between regions, according to the Department.

Male life expectancy ranged from 79.8 years in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area to 75.8 years in Belfast, while female expectancy varied also.

The party's spokesperson for health, Mark Durkan MLA said the difference in local and electoral wards demonstrated the amount of work required to correct the issue.
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He commented: "This report is evidence of the continued failure to address health inequalities. It is unacceptable, especially in a place as small as Northern Ireland, that we have such disparity in health outcomes on a postcode lottery basis.

"It must be emphasised that these figures in no way reflect the standard of healthcare delivered in particular places like the North West and areas of Belfast, rather the need that exists therein. This is not a failure of the health department or our Trusts but of Government or now lack of Government to address economic inequalities across the region."

The Foyle MLA continued: "There must be increased efforts and investment in more deprived areas to create and support employment and improve economic performance and living standards. It is said that our health is our wealth.

"Conversely, lack of wealth is a clear factor in poor health and any City Deal or other initiative should be addressing these inequalities at their core."


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