Scottish MPs (MSPs) have called for a multi-agency approach to tackle inequalities. This follows the publication of the Report on Health Inequalitiesafter a two year inquiry, which identified the ongoing health gap between the rich and poor in Scotland. The gap, they say, has endured; despite political will and investment in public health campaigns on smoking, nutrition and exercise. In fact the inquiry identified that such campaigns had the potential to increase inequalities. This is for two reasons:
- Such campaigns do not address the primary causes of inequalities such as poverty and deprivation and
- There is greater likelihood that the approaches would be taken up by the more literate and financially-able middle classes than those living in poverty.
- Measures through the taxation and benefits system;
- Agencies collaborating to work effectively on related policies such as housing and education;
- NHS to provide better access to primary health services for the poorest and most vulnerable.