Tuesday 01 May 2012
The Health & Social Services Department has published the '2008 Health Profile for Guernsey and Alderney'.
Chief Officer, Mark Cooke said:
"The Health Profile is an important tool to help the States of Guernsey and Alderney and its Departments set priorities and targets in its challenging agenda of leading health improvement within the framework of the 2020 Vision Strategy and the States Strategic Plan. I am very pleased that it has been published and the information it contains made available to the public".
Director of Public Health, Dr Stephen Bridgman, said:
"The Profile provides a snapshot of facts across various aspects of population health and enables potential areas for improvement to be highlighted through comparison with other jurisdictions".
Public health analyst/Epidemiologist Jenny Cataroche added:
"Health Profiles are produced by many countries and regional authorities as a way of improving public access to health-related information. The Profile provides a position statement for islanders about various aspects of population health, which can be monitored for changes over time".
Dr Bridgman explained that 34 indicators were selected to give a balance across a range of important health areas. These are arranged into nine theme groups: demography; fertility, infant and child health; life expectancy; mortality; sexual health; mental health; cancer screening; lifestyle and wider determinants of health. He said that the figures showed some good news, for instance life expectancy of islanders improved by three to four years from 1995-7 to 2006-8, smoking prevalence halved over the last 40 years and infant death rates were low. However, he also said that there were major areas of challenge for the islands to tackle. These include disappointing breast feeding rates; large variations in preventable tooth decay in children by school; high death rates from lung diseases; a significant burden of preventable cancers and cardiovascular disease; and relatively high house price to earnings ratio. He did acknowledge though that there could have been changes in the four years between 2008 and now.
The Profile was backdated to 2008 to avoid having to merge data from an old IT system and a new one, and it is planned to publish an updated Profile, covering the years 2010-12, in 2013.
The full document can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.