A new expert group set up to try to reduce the health gap between the richest and the poorest Scots is to meet for the first time.
The new Ministerial taskforce of Health Inequalities was established to suggest new ways to tackle the problem.
Public health minister Michael Matheson, who will chair the new group, said the health gap between the rich and poor was one of the greatest challenges facing Scotland. It comes after a report published last year showed life expectancy was higher where deprivation is lower.
It found men in the wealthiest areas could expect to live for 81.4 years, which is 13.2 years longer than males in the most deprived areas.
For women, those living in the most affluent areas of the country can expect to live to the age of 84.6, nearly nine years longer than those in the poorest communities.
Mr Matheson said: "While health in Scotland continues to improve and people live longer lives, health inequalities are still worse than in the rest of western Europe. Of all the challenges facing Scotland, the health gap between our richest and poorest communities is among the greatest."
He argued that reducing these inequalities would "improve Scotland's wellbeing, lead to higher productivity and less pressure on public finances".
Mr Matheson said: "The challenge for the taskforce is to review the effectiveness of current policy, to respond to new information and knowledge about what has worked to narrow inequalities and to hear community views on the best way ahead. While Scotland is rightly seen as a world leader in public health legislation and policy, the main reasons for health inequality are income and power, so addressing these issues will be part of our overall approach."
A number of Scottish Government ministers, including children's minister Aileen Campbell, housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess and community safety minister Roseanna Cunningham, are members of the new Taskforce.
The group also include Scotland's top doctor, Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns, as well as Margaret Burns, chair of NHS Health Scotland, Professor Carol Tannahill, the director of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, and Councillor Peter Johnston, health spokesman for the local government body Cosla.