Health inequality between some of Britain's richest and poorest places has grown and may get worse, a new analysis of census figures showed yesterday.
The percentage of people with at least "good" health has risen dramatically in London and the south-east of England but has fallen again across the north of England, the Midlands and Wales.
People in the north of England and Wales are also more likely to have disabilities than people living in affluent areas of England.
Experts at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) believe the figures are further proof that healthier young people are pouring out of disadvantaged areas to find work in London.
Socialist Health Association director Martin Rathfelder said that health funding has followed those people, further starving disadvantaged communities of services such as Blaenau Gwent in south Wales.
The census showed that 72.6 per cent of people living there claim to have "good" health, which is 15 per cent fewer people than in the affluent Hampshire district of Hart.
"The fundamental issue is not about the health service, it's about economics," Mr Rathfelder said.
"The people who are left are mostly unwell or older people and their kids have gone to the south-east because that's where the work is."
The Unite union's head of health Rachael Maskell told the Star that A&E closures tend to be in the most deprived communities, bringing an added risk to the poorest in our society.
Ms Maskell, who represents thousands of Britain's health workers, also warned health services will be further rigged in favour of England's wealthier communities under new Con-Dem government funding plans which will come into effect from April.
"The most affluent areas will have a population who will attract greater funding due to longevity and thus be able to propagate this trend," she added.