Paying to see doctors would deter the moaning Minnies

From: Anita Bamford, Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield.

I READ Tom Richmond’s articles with great interest every Saturday, in fact it’s usually the first page I turn to. I invariably agree with him and he has often influenced my thinking.

However I think your columnist is wrong when he says that GPs should not charge patients. I have worked as a physiotherapist for 40 years before I retired, much of it in the community.

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During that time, I saw the most awful abuses of this most wonderful service. Don’t think I have a jaundiced view of humanity (I loved my job) but there were times when I was disheartened and frustrated by the waste.

I have many times opened a cupboard to be almost floored by the avalanche of stockpiled medications and been into surgeries to see the same faces week after week. GPs almost draw lots to decide who’s going to have to see the days crop of moaning Minnies.

I came to realise, over the years, that if something is free, it’s value is diminished and we start taking it for granted, and long ago came to the conclusion that we need to implement some sort of charge.

I don’t pretend to know how 
we might fairly do this, perhaps some sort of small blanket charge on all prescriptions or at least display the price on all items, 
just to try to discourage this culture of getting it just because it’s so easy.

I can assure Tom that most long serving practitioners in the Health Service share this view.

Perhaps if we take some sort of action now, it will prevent the inevitable privatisation which would be even worse.

Or would it? At least that would get rid of all the unnecessary layers of management – but that’s another issue.

From: Mrs Monica Cook, Parkside Close, Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

if a gang of criminals were found to have caused the amount of damage to this country that recent governments have wreaked, they would be locked up.

The Health Service, for example, is now falling apart because huge amounts of money has been used to train inspectors who can show that a hospital is not working well. But how can they operate efficiently when they were forced to provide new buildings causing so much debt that the staff had to be reduced?

The hospitals are now so overcrowded because so many smaller ones have been closed.

We can see what is coming when full page adverts are featured advertising health insurance and private clinics. America can supply us with both.

When the health, and other public services, have been turned into private businesses we can never get them back.