The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh statement on the Michael Marmot report “Building back fairer”.

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16 Dec 2020

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh are concerned but not surprised by the findings of the new report “Building back fairer” from Sir Michael Marmot. We have known for some time that BAME communities have been harder hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and this report lays this out in detail. The report also details the manner in which pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities also worsened the impact of the virus. Age-standardised mortality rates are almost double in the least deprived areas than more affluent areas both for Covid-19 and for other causes.

Those who live in overcrowded housing, those who work in low-paid insecure work such as public transport, leisure, hospitality, care work or service industries and their children have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic, but are also disproportionally hit by other health inequalities. They are also disproportionately likely to be from an ethnic minority background, a factor which we know also impacts on Covid-19 mortality.

The College welcomes the detailed data contained within the report as an important wake up call for policy makers to urgently deal with the inequalities Sir Michael has identified. The recommendations contained within this report, along with the original recommendations from the Marmot Review of 2010 and the report “Ten Years On” from spring 2020 are good starting points to consider to deal with health inequalities. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh will be considering their recommendations as part of our efforts to ensure diversity and equality amongst our members and fellows and more widely in surgery.


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