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Problem with the NHS

Is it not time for politicians to stop playing party-political football with the NHS (SA , October 23?)

Surely, they must know that the NHS has fundamental issues that cannot be solved by throwing more cash at it?

The basic problem is that supply cannot meet demand.

The NHS was formed in 1948 to treat life-threatening diseases – infections including Tuberculosis, cardio-vascular disease and cancer.

The medicines available were primitive, cheap and not very effective; and surgical operations were basic but risky.

Today we have many very effective drugs (including antibiotics and chemotherapy) but they are expensive.

Modern anaesthesia allows complicated surgical procedures which are effective but expensive.

Many more investigations (blood tests and scans) are available but expensive.

We have an ageing population; and older people get more diseases than the young.

Today, many of the treatments are life-enhancing rather than life-saving.

The supply of front-line skilled, professional staff has not kept pace with the demand.

This is largely due to the inability to recruit and retain such staff – due to unacceptable terms and conditions of service – including pay.

The remedy is either increase supply or decrease demand – or a mixture of both.

This requires a radical overhaul of the whole NHS. Thus, we need to decide what the NHS will, and what it will not, provide.

There needs to be a review of the system of financing it.

And there needs to be a restructuring of its management; the present bureaucracy is burdensome and top-heavy.

Of course, these are all political hot potatoes. This is why politicians dare not address them!

So, we need an independent review by a body that transcends all political parties.

Malcolm Morrison, Retired Surgeon, Prospect Hill, Swindon

Thanks owed to our American friends

Thank you Mr Eagle for your lesson, but like you I was at school when this lesson unfolded.

We in this country should not be too complacent we have done things in the past that we should not boast about,”first take the plank out your eye before you move the splinter out of others.”

Please sir you forgot to mention in your lesson that Stalin and Hitler agreed to invade Poland and Stalin to keep the spoils.

Then Mr Hitler got too big for his boots and tried to take Russia but we know it failed with the loss of millions of lives.

Stalin decided to wage war on Germany with his main object Berlin leaving the rest of Europe to be cleaned up by the Allies.

While he was making his way there your detested Americans and Britain risked U Boats and Artic weather in sending supplies to Minsk, many ships and men were lost in this operation.

Russia almost captured the whole of Berlin and they caused the airlift of tons of supplies to the starving in the western held area.

Guess what.We had to be thankful to the Yanks again for their aircraft!

Had it not been for America and Commonwealth countries who gave us all. You might not be worried whether we remain or leave the E.U. because we could well be under “Jackboot” rule.

Well perhaps not us because the Nazis might have carried us off to the gas chambers by now as being no good to the cause!

By the way at no time in my letter did I mention anything about trade deals.

John Oliver, Brooklands Avenue, Swindon

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