Women's Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:19 am on 10th June 1988.

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Photo of Joan Ruddock Joan Ruddock , Lewisham, Deptford 10:19 am, 10th June 1988

I recommend to my hon. Friend a recent report entitled "Poverty in Lewisham". If the Minister were to chair a committee of the sort that my hon. Friend has suggested, she might find some links that are well illustrated in the report. In three of the wards in my constituency, one in four is unemployed—one in five of the young people is unemployed—and one of every two households is receiving supplementary benefit. My hon. Friend will not be surprised when I say that in two of those wards my constituents are 30 per cent. more likely to be dead before the age of 65 than are those who live elsewhere. In the other ward the figure is 54 per cent. Those figures illustrate that mortality rates are linked directly to poverty, unemployment, bad housing and all the ills that have been illustrated by my hon. Friend.