GP Dr Zahid Chauhan has vowed to provide a listening ear to local residents after being appointed Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at Oldham Council.
Dr Chauhan, a national campaigner behind drives to improve medical provision for the homeless and beat deadly superbugs in UK hospitals, will be in charge of key policy decisions on everything from mental health care to services for the disabled to sporting and leisure activities within the borough.
And with a track record of tackling health inequalities, his first goal will be to address an 11-year gap in life expectancy between those living in affluent and deprived areas of Oldham.
Dr Chauhan said: “Postcode should never determine the quality and longevity of life and we need to do much more to improve provision in poorer neighbourhoods and reduce the stresses, strains and influences that blight peoples’ health there.
“While we have made huge improvements, health and social care in Oldham still lags behind national standards and there is much to be done across the political spectrum to improve this.”