Wednesday, 24 June 2015

UK child mortality is higher than other Western countries

"Too many British children die compared to other developed nations and researchers want to know if the reason is relative poverty or low health care funding."

"Through data analysis, a research team from Bournemouth University was able to compare the UK to other Western countries and found that the UK has the fourth highest child mortality rate, the third worst relative poverty and lowest funded health care. The upside is its free....""

Child mortality across the west has gotten much better. Child mortality in the UK may seem high but it has fallen 42% over past 20 years. Still, the average fall of the other 20 Western countries measured is 50%, suggesting the UK’s child mortality rate is dropping at a slower rate compared to its Western contemporaries."

"Professor Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University, who led the research, used Portugal as a comparison again, "If we had the Portuguese rate there would be 1,827 fewer deaths in children aged 0-14 in the UK per year. We also examined child mortality rates in the context of relative poverty, measured by income inequality, which is the gap between the top and bottom 20% of incomes. Whilst the USA tops the league, the UK had the third worst relative poverty and poverty has long been linked to worst health outcomes."

"It can't simply be National Health Service funding, since Britain had the fourth biggest reduction in adult deaths amongst Western countries."

"So the question is, if we are doing well in reducing adult mortality, are British children disadvantaged because of relative poverty and proportionately low funded health care? The answer appears to be yes and there is worrying evidence that UK income inequalities are widening."

Citation: Pritchard C&Wallace. Comparing UK and Other Western Health Expenditure, Relative Poverty and Child Mortality: Are British Children Doubly Disadvantaged? Children & Society journal of National Children’s Bureau doi: 10.1111/chso.12079

It is always worse in Scotland, particularly Glasgow.

Harry Burns, Scotland`s Chief Medical Officer, who retired last year to take up a senior professorship in global public health at Strathclyde University, goes about the world talking about attachment, the chemistry of cuddles and how it will solve our health problems. That is according to Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, speaking at a recent PAS conference.

Children in deprived areas in Glasgow are not cuddled enough we are led to believe and no doubt early targeted interventions will follow as the Named Person scheme beds itself in next year.

Globe trotting Harry Burns is well rewarded for putting it about, but using `attachment theory` to solve social problems is a scam that victimises the poor and absolves Government of their responsibility for poorly funded health care and the widening income gap.

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