Tracy Brabin said the results of a new examination which found Greater Manchester had a 25% increased Covid-19 death rate compared to England, “will be recognized by many in our own region” .
She said: ‘This report shows how COVID-19 has exposed and amplified inequalities in health and wealth in our communities, not more than in West Yorkshire. “
Two years to fight against health inequalities before they are anchored in a general …
Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology at University College London (UCL), said local authorities will not wait for central government to act to tackle inequality after a “breathtaking” drop in life expectancy. But it is “of vital importance” that they are supported by sufficient central funding to improve results, he said.
Prof Marmot said the government should heed the report produced by UCL’s Institute of Health Equity (IHE) and commissioned by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.
And former Labor MP Ms Brabin, who was elected mayor of West Yorkshire last month, said it was’ simply unacceptable that people with the lowest incomes were exposed to the ravages of the pandemic.
She said: “A decade of austerity has stripped public services to the bone, carved holes in our social safety net and left our NHS underfunded. This statutory sick pay remains at such a low level that it does not allow people to effectively self-isolate is nothing less than a scandal. “
Ms Brabin said the review showed how “the pandemic has had a huge impact on our young people, especially in terms of unemployment and poor mental health.”
And she added: ‘Here in West Yorkshire, claims for unemployment benefits for people aged 16-24 had risen 116% in July 2020 compared to January 2020.
“Although they have fallen slightly since, the number of young people claiming unemployment benefits in May 2021 was double the number observed in January 2020.
“If we are serious about recovering from the pandemic and ensuring that the younger generation can recover what they have lost in the past 15 months, then we have to invest in their future. “
She concluded: ‘Across the north of England we know all too well the disparities in investment and wealth, and my mission is to bridge the gaps so strongly felt between different communities at all levels. Of our society. We need real and tangible structural changes.
” There is no miracle solution. We need long-term solutions at the regional level because we are the ones who know our communities best and understand what matters most to them.
“In addition to urgently renewing ‘hard’ infrastructure such as our creaky transport system, we also need much more public investment in areas such as skills, education and training, which can help free up talent and drive the inclusive economic recovery our region needs. ”
Speaking at a briefing to launch the new report, Prof Marmot said: “I would like to think that what we do in Greater Manchester will be very important for Greater Manchester, but also potentially provide a model for the rest of the country.
“If we really want to take it to the next level, this is the way to do it. And if the government doesn’t step up, what they will find is that local governments across the country are doing it.
“It’s time to do it now, the reason for doing it is to create greater equity in health and wellness.”
The recommendations include increased support for children and young people, a rebalancing of spending to focus more on prevention, more power and control at the local level, and the development of equity targets to monitor progress.
Yesterday, during a Lords debate, Minister Baroness Penn defended the government’s approach and said it had “placed a renewed emphasis on prevention in its approach to tackling health inequalities”.
She added: “This is happening in a number of areas, for example in the new obesity strategy and the smoking cessation strategy, it will help us to close this gap, which is too wide and which we should all agree to do. worry. ”