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Two-tier health care

MALCOLM Morrison is an experienced, sensible, and well respected local commentator on health matters (EA Sept 5th) and I trust his analysis.

If he is indeed correct that GPs’ decisions on hospital referral are now to be run across some kind of star chamber, before they can be implemented, it is probably the most bizarre and insensitive yet, of Jeremy Hunt’s many aborted initiatives.

How many more hoops are the ordinary population expected to jump through, before getting to see someone who has adequate specialism in training, experience and exposure to enable accurate understanding, evaluation, and diagnosis of a set of symptoms?

Already we have to wait three to five weeks to even be seen by a GP, then frequently weeks and weeks to see a specialist, even if you are lucky enough or ill enough to be referred.

If this additional ‘review’ process deems the original referral unnecessary, does the patient never hear any more?

Is he or she telephoned to be told “never mind what your GP told you, we (whoever we are, and hoping to God it’s not ATOS) know better… you don’t need to see a specialist. Now stop worrying.”

If GPs are currently demoralised, retiring in droves or leaving the UK, I can see that this is just the kind of tonic that will foster enthusiasm, heighten morale and warm the cockles of their hearts.

If it is anything, it is a method of driving more and more inequality into health provision, a greater incentive towards private healthcare, leading inexorably to a two-tier health system by the back door or even by the front door.

Today a private patient can call a consultant’s secretary directly, and see almost any consultant the next day or at worst the same week. There is no ‘review’ process here as money talks.

Do we think when Philip’s personal doctor says ”sorry old boy, need to pop you into King Edward VII Hospital to take a look at the old water works,”that his decision will be ‘reviewed’ by anyone?

JOHN STOOKE, Haydon End, Swindon

Share and share alike

A PROMINENT feature of our society today is the majority of citizens who are obsessed with their beautiful home and splendid car, which are the envy of the neighbours. Their lives are possessed by their possessions.

If you were a thoughtful person, you might conclude from this one fact that, since all these persons are so extremely content with these circumstances of their own lives, which give them such satisfaction, then this personal contentment might have drawn them to believe strongly, what a good idea it would be, if all the citizens of our nation, had similar conditions and satisfaction.

That would seem to be a patriotic view of your fellow citizens but, strangely enough, the opposite is true.

All these working class Tories are totally indifferent to the unnecessary misery of millions, and their explanation of the facts, is that they are superior.

In line with this Tory theory, an important part of the nation’s economy is to punish the inferior, feckless poor, in order to teach them a lesson.

The idea that the underclass should not own a home to call their own, the opposite of their own situation, is a particularly favoured feature of this economic plan, which also contains other contrasts, that some other citizens own billions of pounds worth of property, for no observable reason.

But one small irrationality of this plan is that it might possibly damage the children of the poor, whose natural love for their parents creates some resentment and hostility in their minds towards the people and the system which has quite deliberately destroyed all those lives.

Today’s system creates tomorrow’s evils, the moral destruction of both the self-satisfied and the dispossessed and defiant citizens.

Why not try to incorporate all the next generation into the fabric of the nation?

CN WESTERMAN, Meadow Rise, Brynna, Mid Glam

Perfect catchphrases

WE ALL enjoy British catchphrases. Let me refer them to our present circumstances regarding leaving the European Disunion.

“Is that your final answer?” Chris Tarrant, on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, could be used by David Davis to the pompous, jumped-up French bully Michel Barnier.

“I’m free.” Mr Humphries, in Are You Being Served could be used by the British nation by March 19, 2019.

“I don’t believe it,” Victor Meldrew in One Foot In The Grave could be used by the British tax paying public at the ridiculous bill of billions of pounds for leaving the Disunion.

It is money which we borrow for our future generations to pay back, if the truth be known.

“I have a cunning plan,” Baldrick in Black Adder, used by all MPs in the House of Commons.You had better have, or the Job Centre awaits all of you if you defy the democratic decision of the British electorate to suit your self interests, financial or otherwise. Mark my words on that one.

Finally, A more serious saying for he powers that be, an old Scottish proverb from the land of my birth: “We are all Jock Tamsons bairns [children].”

In other words, nobody is better than anyone else. We are all God’s children.

How we live and react to that premise are personal decisions, but don’t blame God if they go wrong.

BILL WILLIAMS, Merlin Way, Covingham, Swindon

We didn’t lose battle

RECENTLY several correspondents have commented on the Battle of Hastings.

Can I point out we didn’t lose, as has been suggested. The English are an amalgam of both Saxons and Normans (with later additions) so to say we lost is ridiculous.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon