The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has called on the Government to close the ‘unacceptable’ life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest in society.
The trade association is one of a number of organisations – including the charities Mind, Turning Point and Diabetes UK – to warn the Government that its plan for a £20bn injection of cash into the NHS can only be considered successful if health inequalities are reduced.
In a joint statement, the organisations urged Theresa May on Tuesday (26 June) to remember her first speech as Prime Minister, where she called it a ‘burning injustice’ that ‘if you’re born poor, you will die an average of nine years earlier than others’.
‘If healthcare makes a difference but is not distributed according to need, the NHS itself widens inequalities in health,’ they added.
‘We acknowledge the significance of the wider determinants of health, such as childcare, housing and education…It must be that all parts of Government and society put their shoulders to the wheel in the pursuit of health equality.’
The NPA said the life expectance between men in the most and least deprived localities is n years in men and seven in women.
The gap for ‘healthy life expectancy’ – an estimate of the number of years lived in ‘good’ or ‘very good’ general health – is 19 years for men and 20 for women, it said.