MANY people may have heard about the recent social crisis in Chile. One of the many issues affecting us relates to health provision. As a Chilean who lived in Leeds for years, I would like to share some issues:
Prescriptions: In England, elderly people and children receive free prescriptions, and adults access to a fixed price. In Chile, no health insurance includes prescriptions. The public service can provide some, normally the simplest ones. Medicines can be incredibly expensive.
Cancer: In England, treatment is covered by the NHS. In Chile, coverage in the public system is insufficient and you may get attention when it is too late. In the private sector it depends on your insurance, determined by your income: the less you earn, the less health coverage you get and the more you have to pay for a treatment.
Families struggle to afford treatments and need to organise crowdfunding and acquire life-long debts.
Ambulances: Just remember the Manchester attack: 56 ambulances available in no time, for free, for everyone. In Chile, ambulances in the public system are very scarce and private insurances do not include them. In an emergency, most people take a taxi to hospitals. If you want to secure access to an ambulance, you need an additional, specific ambulance insurance.
Insurances: The NHS covers everything. In Chile, not even the most expensive insurance covers every illness or all the aspects of a treatment. You sign very long contracts and pay a lot of money, and you still need to pay at least some percentage of your treatment.
If your illness was not in your contract, you don’t have protection. Living in a country where your life does not depend on your income or the luck to have an illness included in your insurance, where you don’t need to worry about how you will afford a serious illness, is something you cannot value enough. Please, protect your NHS.
From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.
A MAJOR indicator of voting intentions is likely to have been the distinction between home owners and renters. Boris Johnson’s newly empowered government (to whom, congratulations) will wish to heal this rift and meet the obligation which they and all of us now have towards their ex-Labour voters. To achieve this may I suggest the following measures:
* Require private landlords to bring their rental property up to merchantable quality or sell it to one who will.
* Replace the Section 106 affordable housing scheme (which requires that developers heavily discount a proportion of new-builds to ‘Goldilocks’ buyers who are not too rich and not too poor) by one requiring a larger proportion to be let for some years before they can be sold.
* Take a percentage of rents paid and use it to buy shares (registered in the name of the tenant) in companies buying and letting houses. The shares can be sold when the tenant buys their own home or after they reach retirement age.
* Seek to keep house price inflation at less than half RPI (Retail Price Index). The lever for doing this is to respond to rises by increasing the percentage deposit to paid out of the buyer’s own money.
The last point serves the interests of those that already own (who might like bigger rises but should be strongly averse to risking a price crash) and those that don’t (whose rent may be substantially driven by house prices and who may aspire to buy in the future).
The opposite approach of facilitating purchases on a very small deposit pushes up house prices and turns the entire economy into a house of cards.
From: Tim Hunter, Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough.
CHRISTMAS will be happening twice this year. Firstly we have had a glorious Conservative (and Eurosceptic) victory in the General Election.
When given the choice of supporting the implementation of Brexit without further delay, people have overwhelmingly opted to support that option. Parties who opposed Brexit or who sought to obfuscate and delay the process have been crushed.
Please can the Europhiles now shut up.
Thankfully the damage that the Brexit Party might have inflicted was pretty small.
Without them, the Conservatives could have had a few more seats, but most people made their own minds up and decided that the Brexity Party was a completely pointless option – one which is now destined for oblivion.
The people have spoken, they want Brexit done. In fact, they are telling the Government to just flipping do it!
From: Brian H Sheridan, Lodge Moor, Sheffield.
WHILST supporting your decision to print it, I was nauseated by your picture, shared by at least one other respected newspaper, of a small shaggy dog, wearing a fancy blue collar and licking Boris Johnson’s lips (The Yorkshire Post, December 13).
This is unhygienic and a bad example to children.
Moreover, I hate the exploitation of animals (and children) to court popularity and I abhor the practice of trying to imbue animals with human characteristics. This is an affront to any creature’s dignity.
From: Terry Palmer, Hoyland, Barnsley.
SUFFICE to say many of the Brexit betrayers were beaten for betraying the democratic decision taken by the people in 2016.
I’ve no sympathy whatsoever for any of them, good riddance. As for Hilary Benn trying to blame only the leadership, he’s wrong.
From: Michael J Robinson, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.
PLEASE tell me that the election result means I shall no longer have to see or hear anything of the utterly discredited Tony Blair. Please.