Commenting on the news that life expectancy fell in 2018 – 2020, reversing the trend of recent years, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton demanded that the SNP must “get a grip on the things that really matter”.
Life expectancy in Scotland has increased since the early 1980s but then remained virtually unchanged between 2012-2014 and 2017-2019. In the most recent year it has now dropped below the 2012-2014 figure.
The report published by the National Records for Scotland shows that COVID-19 and drug related deaths both had negative effects on the overall rate.
The deprivation gap has become wider over the past few years growing by 1.3 years for males and 1.6 years for females since 2013-2015. Scotland continues to have the lowest life expectancy of all UK countries and in western Europe.
Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
“These statistics show the true state our country is in. This fall in life expectancy is the result of two public health crises the SNP have catastrophically mishandled.
“The devastation of COVID-19 was all the more potent after the government made glaring errors such as the putting Covid positive patients into care homes, and failing to make sure that quarantine and contact tracing worked. Similarly, ministers cut budgets to drug services by 22%, sending organisations to the wall and severing support.
“Scotland has suffered as a result of years of distracted governments with broken priorities. Deprivation still cuts too many lives short. As we look ahead to a long and difficult winter with a crisis in emergency care already biting, ministers must get a grip on the things that really matter.”