Sir, – Les Mackay (‘Magnificent’ NHS must remain under public control, Courier, March 1) seems oblivious to there being a great big world out there, with many other countries offering superior health care to our National Health Service.
There was much bragging about the NHS coming first in a comparison of national healthcare systems, but it scored poorly on health outcomes, its very reason for existing.
It is a vast, inefficient organisation, with spending rising in real terms in recent years, and it is unlikely to benefit from much needed reform and efficiency gains with political interference and blind worship.
Whether or not Scotland’s efforts are slightly better than England’s could not be of less importance to anyone on an increasingly-lengthy waiting list for treatment.
Our National Health Service is the best
Sir, – I watched Mr Aseem Malhotra – one of the country’s top cardiologists – being interviewed about Prince Philip being transferred from London’s King Edward V11s hospital to St Bartholemew’s Hospital.
Almost the first thing he said was that he was not surprised that the prince had been transferred from a private hospital to an NHS hospital.
His point was that private hospitals are fine for less serious conditions but for serious cases NHS hospitals are much better.
Whilst the Conservative Party is busy selling off parts of the NHS to American health insurance providers it is worth listening to the likes of Mr Malhotra.
I for one have more confidence in Mr Malhotra’s opinion than Boris Johnson and any member of his party when it comes to the NHS.
Mid Street, Largoward.
‘Global Britain’ has been posted missing
Sir, – The UK slashing of its aid pledge to war-torn Yemen for a second time has condemned thousands of children to starvation.
Yemen’s brutal conflict has seen four million people displaced and thousands of children killed by famine and disease.
The sick irony of all this being that while the UK is cutting aid, it is continuing to license the sale of billions of pounds of arms to Saudi Arabia.
It is also the lead country at the UN, the so-called “penholder”, on Yemen.
The ring-fenced aid is less than half the £200m originally pledged in 2019, now standing at £87m.
Cutting aid by more than half for the greatest humanitarian crisis on Earth, in the middle of a global pandemic, is disgraceful.
It also breaks a key pledge in the Tory manifesto that it would maintain overseas aid at 0.7 % of national income, which has now been slashed to 0.5%.
The UK is in fact the only G7 country to cut aid this year, while other G7 countries are ramping up their humanitarian support.
It should urgently put this issue to a vote in the House of Commons before it cuts any more lifesaving projects which are clearly in Britain’s national interest.
Despite all the talk of global Britain, it is abandoning its moral obligations, pulling us further away from our allies and stepping back just as the USA steps up.
Is election leaflet a good use of resource?
Sir, – As a ‘vulnerable’ person being over 80 and with heart problems, I received another letter from NHS Scotland.
It did not contain the usual advice on vaccination or self-isolation. Instead, there were instructions to apply for a proxy vote or postal vote for the May election.
This is a wholly improper use of NHS resources when that organisation has been disrupted by the Covid pandemic, and there is a huge backlog of cases of cancer and heart disease to be diagnosed and treated.
There will also be a backlog of routine surgery.
Golf Course Road,