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1st Scottish Health Statistics 2006-11-09

Posted by clype in Health, Scotland, Statistics.
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Scots are more likely to die of cancer than Israelis, have twice the number of GPs compared with Slovakia and undergo more abortions than the Germans, according to ‘The European Health for All Database‘, compiled by ‘The World Health Organisation‘ (‘The WHO’), now includes statistics for ‘Scotland’, separating them from the rest of the UK for the first time.

It means that politicians, medics and the public can compare ‘Scotland’ with the rest of Europe on almost 500 indicators of health, from rates of disease to Caesareans and dentists.

Among the thousands of figures available, the database shows that in 2004, there were 78.23 cancer deaths per 100 000 people aged up to 64 in ‘Scotland’. This compared with 63 in ‘Greece’ in 2003 and 59.77 in ‘Israel’, also in 2003 — the latest figures available for those countries.

But Scotland’s cancer death rate was well behind countries such as ‘Hungary’, with a rate of 139.32 deaths in 2003, and 104 in ‘The Russian Federation’ in 2004.

There were 514.34 cases of cancer per 100 000 people in ‘Scotland’ in 2002, putting it high up the European league compared with countries such as ‘Israel’ with 343 360 in ‘Portugal’ and 329 in ‘Ukraine’.

Part of the reason could be high rates of smoking and obesity in ‘Scotland’. In 2004, 25 per cent of over-15s in ‘Scotland’ smoked, compared with 20.2 in ‘Iceland’. But experts believe other countries have less advanced systems for recording cancers, meaning the figures may not show the full picture.

The figures also show that in 2004, there were 251.37 abortions per 1 000 live births in ‘Scotland’. This compares to a figure of 183.74 in ‘Germany’ and 129 in ‘Kyrgyzstan’ in 2004.

Abortions were much higher in countries including Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Breastfeeding rates in ‘Scotland’ also remain low, at 21 per cent of babies still breastfed at six months in 2004, compared with 53.3 per cent in ‘Hungary’, 44.9 per cent in ‘Spain’ and 70.6 per cent in ‘Sweden’.

The Chief Executive of The National Childbirth Trust Ms.Belinda Phipps said:

‘Breastfeeding is so important to a baby’s health, the efforts that have already been made in “Scotland” need to continue.’

Other figures on the database looked at health resources, such as hospital beds and staff numbers. These showed that in 2004, there were 87.74 GPs per 100 000 people in 2004, putting it high up the European league, although still behind countries including ‘France’, with 165, and ‘Finland’, with 166.

There were 571.57 hospital beds per 100,000 people in Scotland in 2004, compared with 847.44 in ‘The Czech Republic’ and over 1 000 in ‘Belarus’.

The Scottish figures were included in the database after two years of campaigning by Mr.Stewart Maxwell — a Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament. He said:

[Picture of Stewart Maxwell]
‘This shows that the reality of the situation in “Scotland” was previously hidden in the UK statistics. Now it is possible to see the real situation in “Scotland” and we can start to tackle the problems without being lulled into a false sense of security.’

The Health Minister Mr.Andy Kerr, said ‘Scotland’ was becoming a healthier place to live with more Scots making healthy choices and living longer.

[Picture of health Minister]
‘Early evidence shows that the smoking ban is already having a positive impact, we are taking on the challenges of alcohol, and we have strategies for improving diet and increasing physical activity which have been commended by “The WHO”,’ he said.

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