Public Health Minister Joe Fitzpatrick claims it isn’t possible to estimate spend on reducing health inequalities.

He claims work has taken place across a significant number of strategies and policies making it impossible to work out.

The revelations come after Adam Tomkins, MSP for Glasgow, submitted a written question to ministers.

‘There is a large range of actions and activities delivered across NHS Scotland which contributes, directly and indirectly, to tackling health inequalities,’ Mr Fitzpatrick said.

‘The Scottish Government doesn’t seek to dictate a single concept of prevention and does not require accounts based on that.

‘Our approach to health inequalities is across a significant number of strategies and policies.

‘From minimum unit pricing for alcohol to proposals to restrict the marketing and promotion of high fat, salt and sugar foods right through to the reporting of Integration Authorities.

‘Which are clearly about maximising quality and sustainability in current care arrangements and preventing future harm.

‘It is not, therefore, possible to estimate spend on reducing health inequalities.’

Oral health inequalities

The Oral Health Improvement Plan includes aims to help reduce oral health inequalities.

A three-year Community Challenge Fund was promised to allow organisations to bid for funding to work in deprived communities.

GDS funding will be changed to better reflect the socio-economic status of patients registered to the practice.

‘Nicola Sturgeon made a clear commitment that tackling health inequalities would be her top priority,’ Mr Tomkins said to The Scotsman.

‘Like me, she represents the city of Glasgow.

‘A city where health inequalities remain stubbornly persistent and where mortality is higher than similar post-industrial cities.

‘Yet more than a decade on, her SNP Government can’t even tell us how much money has been invested in this so-called priority area.

‘People in poorer areas are still dying younger, they’re still far more likely to be struck by disease and when that illness occurs they’re less likely to survive it.

‘This is an SNP Government that might talk a good game on inequality and poverty, but the reality is that it’s failing to deliver on its promises.’