‘NW folk are dying younger due to inequality’

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Maeve McLaughlin says people in Londonderry are dying years younger than their neighbours in more affluent parts of Northern Ireland and claims Sinn Féin will prioritise addressing health inequality.

The former Chair of the Stormont Health Committee made the pledge at her party Ard Fheis at the weekend.

“Health spend this year is £4.88billion but reality is it is not shared equally across society.

“Life expectancy in affluent areas is approximately 10 years longer than in deprived areas.

“The top three constituencies in the North for health inequalities are West Belfast, North Belfast and Foyle,” she said.

Ms McLaughlin also called for the delivery of a medical school at Magee to help alleviate the North West’s over-dependence on expensive locum doctors.

She said: “£12m will be spent this year in the Western Trust on locums and agency staff - this is unsustainable and we are calling on the Health Minister to deliver on the proposal for a medical school at Derry’s Magee campus to help address this waste.”