ACTION ON HEART FAILURE MUST TACKLE POVERTY AS ROOT CAUSE OF ILL HEALTH
In a debate on quality of life for patients with heart failure, I highlighted that poverty is the most important factor in heart disease and premature death, and any action to improve health outcomes must focus on poverty and inequality. I know this from my own experience.
Heart and circulatory diseases are killing three in every 10 people in Scotland and there is evidence to suggest that the burden of these conditions is increasing. I am pleased the Scottish Government is taking action to tackle heart health problems and will publish an updated Heart Disease Improvement Plan later this spring, which has received funding of £1million, while the Scottish Government’s health budget is set to increase by £800 million to £16 billion. I urged the UK Government to match Scottish Government spending per capita on health.
While this is important, the answer to many of our health problems is to do all we can to build a more equitable society. If we can do that, fewer adults will develop heart failure and other serious life-limiting conditions, allowing them to live more full and active lives. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we must reflect on how our society works and look afresh at how to make it better for everyone.
You can watch my speech below.