Postcode lottery still governs Scotland’s health and life expectancy

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THE SNP likes to put our money where its priorities are (Cuts to NHS Scotland revealed, 30 November). That results in money going to vote winning universal benefits, from free prescriptions to free tuition fees, that favour the relatively well off at the expense of more focussed help for those who really need it.

In the NHS, spending increases that benefited people in England and Wales – by some 4.4 per cent over the last six years – were not passed on by the SNP who chose to let NHS spending reduce by 1.2 per cent in the same period.

The dominance of the SNP is not serving Scotland well when the SNP choose to use their power primarily to keep in office. Across education, health and the police it seems the rest of the UK are able to use limited resources to better effect than the SNP in Scotland who are obsessed with simply holding on to power until they can once again return to the constitutional issue.

Keith Howell

West Linton, Peeblesshire

A Scottish government report has revealed that the affluent get a better deal from their GP services than the less well off.

The First Minister talks much of her commitment to equality and fairness in society, but, as far as our medical services are concerned, how far is she delivering on her rhetoric?

While overall NHS spending down south has increased in real terms by 4.4 per cent between 2009 and 2015, in Scotland it went down by 1.2 per cent. Total Scottish spending on the family health sector – including GPs, dentists and pharmacies – has fallen by £83 million over the past five years. And now, arguably of greatest concern, we learn the average spend per patient per year is £7 higher in top 10 per cent of affluent areas compared to the bottom 10 per cent of deprived areas.

What do we have to show after eight years of the SNP in charge of the NHS?

Despite the efforts of hard-pressed clinical teams, A&E wait times are almost consistently missed and there’s a GP staffing crisis. In Scotland people in deprived areas die more than ten years earlier than those in affluent areas – and yet the NHS spends more on the comfortably off.

While Prof Graham Watt of Glasgow University’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing finds these figures “shocking”, health secretary Shona Robison places her faith in a new GP contract from 2017 being the solution.

The First Minister naturally chose 30 November to cite Saint Andrew as standing up for the under-privileged in our society. Looking at SNP’s record on the NHS, does Ms Sturgeon?

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus, Edinburgh

Shocking figures released by researchers from Glasgow and Edinburgh now show 
that the poor in Scotlandare being robbed with lower funding for doctors in deprived areas by comparison to well-off areas.

It is not surprising that life expectancy in Scotland related to postal code can make a huge difference of ten years. when funding is being prioritised to more affluent areas to the detriment of the poor.

Dennis Forbes Grattan

Mugiemoss Road, Aberdeen