IN her article defending the NHS, Joyce McMillan rightly refers to the threat posed by lobbying as a political factor in present-day politics (Perspective, 22 February).
Pressure on politicians has traditionally been exerted by interests that are commercial rather than civic, on balance, and I suspect the methods used have become more sophisticated and less visible. One only needs, as Ms McMillan suggests, to look at what passes for standard in the United States, where efforts to introduce a faint shadow of vintage NHS health care elicited lurid comments from opponents, and TV advertisements smearing the very idea of medical treatment for the general population unless they subscribe to private health insurance. As Joyce McMillan says, a high amount of bankruptcies in the US stem from personal health problems.
The spate of scandal stories about health authorities in Scotland “doctoring” waiting times and lists can possibly be connected to the same insidious efforts to promote private health care.
I would suggest that the main experience of most people in Scotland in any contact with NHS provision is positive rather than negative, supportive rather than suppressive, and that most people would praise the health care provided by the NHS rather than rubbish it.
But, somehow, an impression arises from a sporadic outpouring of news reports that the NHS needs replacing. With what?
No thank you. Or has the slamming of the NHS to do with an upcoming referendum, by any chance?