Roberta asked the Health Secretary in the House of Commons yesterday about the Government's policy to use NHS resources to tackle health inequalities, and to prioritise health spending in areas of disadvantage.
"When the Tories were in power they made no effort to rectify the gap in health between richer parts of the country, especially in the South, and poorer parts including in the North. I think that's wrong, which is why I am encouraged that the Government uses deprivation and disadvantage as factors in deciding how to spend health funds.
"The Minister, in his response to my question, reminded me that Durham received £1,800 per head in health spending, which is £200 per person more than the average in England. It is this kind of action which would almost certainly be under threat with the Tories.
"I pointed out in the Commons that the Tories' so-called premium pledge is a complete sham because the Government is already giving more money to areas of higher need. And when it comes to the NHS generally, we remember the Tories' record from the last time they were in power.
"The Government's policy to tackle health inequalities is making a real difference to the health of many people in Durham, but there is still much more to be done to ensure that people in the North enjoy as good health as those in the South. That's just one reason why we must elect a Labour Government and reject the Tory Party at the General Election and why I urged the Minister to do still more to tackle health inequality."