Dáil Éireann - Volume 541 - 09 October, 2001
Written Answers. - Health Reports.
Mr. Connaughton Mr. Connaughton
321. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children the implications he sees in a report (details supplied); the factors that contributed to the low rate of mortality in County Galway but to a much higher rate of mortality in Ballinasloe town; if he and the Western Health Board have studied this report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23104/01]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The report to which the Deputy refers is Inequalities in Health in Ireland – the Hard Facts, by Joe Barry et alia, Department of Community Health and General Practice Trinity College, Dublin. One of the main issues highlighted in the report is the link between social economic group and health status, in particular the fact that death rates for men in lower socio-economic groups such as unskilled manual workers are much higher than for men in higher professional and managerial positions. This issue has been addressed in the national health strategy, currently being finalised, and in the report of the working group on the national anti-poverty strategy and health. The implications of the report in relation to inequalities in health will be taken on  board in the implementation of both these strategies. The report also noted that death rates seemed to be higher in medium sized towns than in larger urban areas or rural areas. The implementation of the strategy for health research launched recently and the national health information strategy now in course of development should improve our knowledge of the reasons for such variation.
I have asked the chief executive officer of the Western Health Board to reply to you directly in relation to the specific local issues raised.
Dáil Éireann 541 Written Answers. Health Reports.