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'Health inequalities are long-standing'

"Health inequalities are long-standing and entrenched in Scotland.

"Tackling this has been a priority for successive governments but most indicators show the problem remains substantial.

"Across the country, there are particular areas of poverty where people have higher healthcare needs. Resources should be better targeted at those who require them most."

– Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland,

Report finds 'substantial' inequalities in Scottish's health

The distribution of GPs in Scotland does not reflect the higher levels of poor health and greater need in poor areas, an Audit Scotland report has found.

Despite general improvements in the health of the nation, vast inequalities remain between the least and most deprived communities, according to the Health inequalities in Scotland publication.

People in deprived areas also have higher rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, drug and alcohol misuse and poor mental health.

Men in the most deprived areas typically die 11 years earlier than those in the most affluent, and the gap is 7.5 years for women, the report found.