October 31: BMA has no grounds for complaint over junior doctors

From: Paul Muller, Retired surgeon, Woodfield Gardens, Wakefield.

EVERY medical student must have a vocation. We can become ill at any time, day or night. The vocation for a doctor should be to care for their patients 24/7.

The first call for help goes to the family doctor; but they have opted out of night work and weekend work. General practice has been turned into a convenience for the GP rather than for the patient; it has become a boring, boxticking job; this is why many doctors chose to leave and why junior doctors do not wish to go into general practice.

The BMA is a union. Its only interest is to turn medicine into a nine to five job and to make sure you are well paid for doing as little as possible.

Dr Johann Malawana (The Yorkshire Post, October 28) states we do not wish to return to the days of exhausted junior doctors working dangerously long hours. He also states that the majority of junior doctors care for patients 24/7, that is 168 hours per week.

Jeremy Hunt is asking that the normal working week in NHS hospitals be 90 hours per week, Monday to Saturday, these hours to be covered on a rota basis. I do not understand what the BMA is complaining about.

Solutions to the steel crisis

From: Chris Broome, Sheffield Climate Alliance, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

WITH the UK steel industry at risk of collapsing, the Government should move urgently to protect it. That said, all the reasons why this situation has developed should be considered carefully and any action taken needs to make long- term sense.

Steel prices have dropped largely because of an economic slowdown in China, resulting in a fall in total global demand. The Chinese have subsidised their steel industry for much the same reasons as those leading to calls for our Government to do likewise. So we need to avoid causing a situation in which all steel-making countries subsidise over-production of steel for which there is not enough demand.

Part of the solution is to press ahead with a course we need to follow anyway. That is to create hundreds of thousands of jobs by investing in a modern, low-carbon energy system (see http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/).

Ageing coal power stations and transmission lines need belated replacement anyway. The cost of renewable energy is coming down and in the short-term, energy intensive users should be given some support if they continue to take measures to remain more energy efficient than foreign competitors.

Meanwhile, after climate talks in Paris in December, almost all countries will be committed to limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Thus, British businesses can stay competitive, provided they invest in new technologies and skills.

From: G J C Reid, Mayfield Road, Whitby.

IN the climate change debate, I have yet to see a mention of the amount of CO2 produced by the ever increasing world population. Why, I wonder? It must surely be of some significance. I have also come to a conclusion regarding the keenness of the ‘greens’ to keep fossil fuels in the ground. They are looking to the future. When the climate cools, as it surely must, they will be there for them to extract and burn to create CO2 to try and keep the temperature up.

Flaws in meat red alert

From: Professor J. A. Double, Carlinghow Hill, Upper Batley.

RE YOUR report ‘Linking bacon to cancer will harm farmers’. In recent years there have been several reports of the “dangers” of eating meat. In my view, this latest report from the IACR adds nothing new and furthermore, like all the others, it is based on potentially flawed evidence.

The only way to prove a positive link between eating meat, processed or not, and cancer would be to conduct a very large age-matched population study that compared meat eaters and vegans. To my knowledge such a study has never been done, or is likely to be.

I am pleased to see that there have been other informed criticisms and comments on this report. Hopefully these will allay some of the fears that this report may have caused. The message from epidemiologists and dieticians in terms of food consumption is that moderation is the key to healthy living.

Pit tragedy as royal visited

From: John Taylor, Oxenhope, Keighley.

I READ with interest the article by Peter Tuffrey regarding the Royal visit to Yorkshire during the early part of July 1912 and the fact that they stayed at Wentworth with the Fitzwilliam family (The Yorkshire Post, October 27).

The article detailed the visits made to various industrial sites and the Royal interest in the plight of the working people. I was very surprised that Mr Tuffrey did not mention the sad fact that 88 people died in the Cadeby Main pit disaster during that Royal visit.

Lib Dems and the Iraq War

From: Dr Robert Heys, Bar Lane, Sowerby Bridge.

DAVID Blunkett’s statement apropos the 2003 in Iraq that “We’re all to blame for Iraq failings” (The Yorkshire Post, October 26) is doubtless true in respect of the policies of Labour and the Tories prior to that disastrous conflict.

The Liberal Democrats, however, actively opposed the drift to war in Iraq.

I personally attended a large demonstration staged by the coalition against the war in London on February 6. The Lib Dem contingent was led by Charles Kennedy, the party leader at the time.