Easington MP Grahame Morris has called for greater access to radiotherapy treatment to improve cancer outcomes and cut excess deaths.

In a Westminster Hall Debate, Mr. Morris highlighted the issues around accessing routine healthcare during COVID-19, with the inevitable impact this had on prognosis and delayed treatment. Cancer is one of many conditions that are yet to recover post-pandemic.

However, Mr. Morris noted that these issues pre-date COVID-19, highlighting the link between economic deprivation and health inequalities, stating, “The economic inequalities affect health outcomes, and my constituency is on the front line of health inequalities.”

A recent report by Professor Peter Goldblatt of University College London entitled “Health Inequalities Cut Life Short” found that health inequalities caused 1 million early deaths in England in the last decade, with 148,000 directly attributed to austerity measures implemented by the Coalition Government from 2010.

Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity, said:

“Our country has become poor and unhealthy, where a few rich, healthy people live. People care about their health, but it is deteriorating, with their lives shortening, through no fault of their own. Political leaders can choose to prioritise everyone’s health, or not. Currently, they are not.”

Speaking following the debate, Mr. Morris highlighted the Government’s failure to address the economic root causes of poverty, deprivation, and ill health. He said:

“Levelling Up should be helping to address health inequalities through investing in the poorest communities, improving health, housing, education, and employment opportunities, lifting people out of poverty.

However, the Government has failed. They denied Horden funding for community and housing regeneration, not once but twice during levelling up funding bids.

I am in a battle with Transport Ministers, Public Authorities, and Rail Operators about the substandard, dangerous, and overcrowded rail services at Horden and Seaham, which frequently fail to turn up, are delayed, or leave passengers stranded on the platform.

These service failures are not mere inconveniences; they damage our local economy and stop people from taking up employment and educational opportunities in the region.

The Government’s approach is fragmented and uncoordinated. They are simply failing the communities in greatest need and have run out of ideas and any vision to create an equal, fair, and just society.”


Health inequalities ‘caused 1m early deaths in England in last decade’


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