Sir, – Somehow I do not think there would be much – or indeed any – support for Rev Dr Cameron’s suggestion (Letters, July 3) of charging for doctor’s appointments.
I would have thought it would be more appropriate to charge those people who fail to keep their appointments either with their doctor or at a hospital and I would suggest a £10 and £20 charge for the doctor or hospital respectively.
I would also suggest that no further appointments should be allowed until that charge has been paid.
I am making this suggestion because I am appalled at the number of missed appointments shown at my surgery each month – I believe this total rarely falls below 100.
This I am sure would have the effect of more people getting appointments and keeping them. A report in a recent paper said that the cost to the NHS each year for people missing hospital appointments amounted to several millions of pounds which could have been used for many purposes instead.
This is totally unsustainable and a drain on resources.
I cannot speak for other dental practices but the one which I use advises that, if you miss an appointment or do not tell them in good time you are unable to attend, then you will be charged accordingly.
So what is good for a dental practice should be good for a doctor’s practice.
John M Page.
Priorities in poor health
Sir, – I read with interest that locum GPs are being paid as much as £1,400 per day for cover in some areas.
While I do not condone such high amounts, how does this compare with a Premier League footballer?
As a society it seems we have our priorities in a muddle.
Time and effort going to waste
Sir, – I refer to your recent article on the uptake of Perth and Kinross Council’s brown bin scheme.
Am I the only person in the world who understands that garden waste will decompose on-site if left to do so?
If garden waste is composted on-site there are many benefits:
For a start, there is the use of compost to fertilise plants on-site.
There are also no emissions as a result of carting it away, processing it or distributing it.
This system is totally eco friendly since it involves recycling at source, with no negative side effects.
So why on Earth is the council wasting valuable resources, polluting the atmosphere while collecting, processing and distributing garden waste, and mis-using council tax?
I note some 35,000 uninformed people have subscribed to the brown bin scheme, which is very sad. I wish the council would provide some sensible leadership on this issue.
The Old Dairy,
Issues with immigration
Sir, – I refer to the comments of Dr Paulina Trevena (“Scots in the dark over migrant benefits”, July 2).
If this academic would care to step out her ivory tower and see life as it truly is for the majority of Scots, she might understand that more and more ordinary people in Scotland and the rest of the UK are actually coming to see large-scale immigration in its true light.
She trots out the well-worn buzz words and phrases – “racism” and “xenopobia” – to silence anyone who raises concerns about immigration and says “Scotland needs migration to grow its population and be able to sustain its economy”, as if this were an absolute truth which no one in their right mind would ever question, let alone object to.
The 2011 Census showed that those identifying as “White British” in London were a minority for the first time ever. Is this what Dr Trevena wants for Glasgow and Edinburgh? If the SNP’s Growth Commission gets its wish and 400,000 immigrants are allowed into Scotland then a few years down the line that could well be the result.
Dr Trevena concedes that the established population of Scotland “does not necessarily support sustaining high levels of migration into Scotland”. And why should we? The problems associated with this policy are numerous and well-documented.
I have heard it said that whether you support mass immigration or not depends on whether you are someone who eats in expensive restaurants or has to work in one. It is a good illustration.
For the privileged few, floods of cheap labour are a brilliant idea; for those working on eight-hour contracts in low-paid jobs it means only more competition for those jobs by people who may be happy to work for even lower wages.
Perhaps Dr Trevena thinks all these migrants are going to be highly-skilled professionals filling positions which native Scots cannot be trained to fill. Either way, she is deluded.
Schools in long-term decline
Sir, – Jill Stephenson (Letters, June 29) takes a rather scattergun approach to her latest SNP diatribe.
Readers considering accepting her assertions at face value would do well to visit the websites, Talking-up Scotland and Business For Scotland, in order to get an alternative appraisal of the Scottish Government’s record. The former, in particular, includes copious links to reports and articles from non-partisan organisations in order to validate the site’s articles.
Ms Stephenson’s fellow Scotland in Union letter writer, Victor Clements, featured also, with education common to both contributions.
During a visit to the Central Library in Dundee, as part of a historical project, I trawled through old Courier clippings. One article, concerning education standards in Scotland at the time, struck me.
It read, “Education has reached a critical stage, with shortage of staff, large classes, lack of accommodation and part-time education being introduced in some parts of the country.”
The article was written in 1955.
More than half a century later, the SNP inherited this running mismanagement of our education system, one the reporter would no doubt recognise, along with the added financial burden of crumbling, Labour built, PFI schools, and a programme of London-imposed austerity.
Instead of deflection, perhaps Ms Stephenson and Mr Clements will provide us with a positive argument for continuation of Westminster control. There are, apparently, compelling reasons for doing so. It would be helpful if someone – anyone – would articulate them.
Still time to scrap and save
Sir, – I wonder if new Health minister Jeanne Freeman wishes she could get her hands on the £450 million she got to set up a new social security organisation in her old job.
She needs every penny to fix the NHS, starting with the 29 recommendations to reform mental healthcare which she says is in an “unacceptable” state.
It’s also unacceptable to blow millions on a tartan duplication of the UK system when there are more deserving cases.
It’s not too late to scrap the whole thing.
Living it large on the US border
Sir, – The current excitement about the treatment of incomers to the United States of America reminds me of my first arrival there.
We were on our way to Mexico when our aircraft had to make a stopover at Florida for minor repairs.
The armed police on duty herded all passengers (nobody had an entry visa) into a given corner of the arrival hall and mounted a guard to ensure there were no breakouts.
A few hours later arrangements had been made for accommodation in local hotels and a cash allowance for overnight essentials was available.
I purchased underpants in what I thought was the correct size – large – and when I opened the package I found underpants which could have accommodated me and both my next door neighbours.
The USA is a land for big people.
A A Bullions.