Letters to the Editor – 21.4.22

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Bring back ‘caring’ service

What has happened to our GP ‘services’? Will they ever get back to being how they used to be? It is almost impossible now to see a GP face to face unless it is an emergency and, if you are lucky, you are offered a telephone call at least three days hence. For me it was five.

This arrangement only adds anxiety to the existing problem and you are left wondering how to deal with your medical problem until a doctor rings you several days later. What the doctors do now is not a ‘health service’.

The good old days of ringing up, making an appointment and being seen within a day or two seem to be gone forever and it is causing huge stress to a lot of people. And where is the feeling of confidentiality now that the receptionist has to ask you what you’re calling about? That puts people off calling.

I know Covid has had a lot to do with the face-to-face appointments but surely we could get quicker return telephone calls and a chance of a personal appointment if we want one.

Come on GPs, give us back the caring ‘health service’ we need. The present arrangement is nothing but a giant step backwards. Perhaps this is a situation that could be taken up after 5 May by our newly elected councillors.
G G MacDonald, Connel.

War no barrier to resignation

It is striking to note the spurious argument that because there is war in Ukraine this means that the Prime Minister should remain in office and not be replaced.

This is a man who has broken the law, the first Prime Minister in office to do this, as well as lying to Parliament. History highlights that on numerous occasions we have replaced Prime Ministers in wars we have been directly involved in.

For instance, in May 1940 Neville Chamberlain resigned after the failure of British efforts to liberate Norway. In December 1916, at the height of the First World War, Lloyd George replaced Herbert Asquith. More recently, Mrs Thatcher resigned in November 1990, with Iraq invading Kuwait in August of that year, which led to the Gulf War.

Add to this, changes to Prime Ministers during the war in Afghanistan, the Second Boer War, the Second Opium War and the Crimean War, changing a Prime Minister in a time of conflict is clearly not unprecedented.

Those who make the law cannot be seen to be breaking the law and it is scarcely credible that Mr Johnson, who has now lost the final fragments of any moral authority he did have, can carry the confidence of the country and remain in office.
Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

Vote for good mental health

The Scottish Council Elections are just around the corner and we are encouraging everyone in Argyll to vote for good mental health for all.

Our mental health is shaped by our environment and experiences. We need strong leadership to build Wellbeing Communities that support us to thrive with good mental health.

Councillors are in a powerful position to influence the facilities, services and public spaces in our communities that can help determine whether we feel safe, connected and supported.

That’s why we’re asking local council candidates to commit to actions to help deliver good mental health for all. These include making sure that every council department considers public mental health when making decisions, providing community groups with funding to provide support that people need, ensuring we all have access to quality green spaces and also that children and young people have access to a variety of sport and leisure activities free of charge.

Read more about it at www.mentalhealth.org.uk/wellbeing-communities
The choices councillors make affect the mental health of you, your family and your community. On May 5 make sure you vote for the candidates that you trust will work hard to build a Wellbeing Community for all.
Keith Rae, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Mental Health Foundation, Glasgow.

The Big Kitten Con

With kitten season nearly here, Cats Protection is releasing a documentary highlighting the potential risks of buying underage kittens online from sellers who put profit before welfare. The Big Kitten Con, narrated by Caroline Quentin, features traumatic accounts of kittens being sold at less than the legal age – eight weeks – and sadly dying from debilitating illnesses.

Last year, 340,000 of the 500,000 cats bought in the UK were found online.
Though many sellers are responsible people, there are individuals who will exploit the anonymity of the internet to sell kittens taken from their mums too young, denying them vital nutrients and social development, while passing them off as healthy kittens.

For advice and to sign a petition calling on the Government to regulate cat breeding, visit www.cats.org.uk/kitten-con
Madison Rogers, Cats Protection.

Get active with Mary’s Meals

I’m proud to support Mary’s Meals, a charity which feeds more than two million children in some of the world’s poorest countries every school day. With spring now upon us, it’s an ideal time for your readers to get active to help Mary’s Meals reach more hungry children.

The Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon is an opportunity to swim, run, kayak and cycle around Loch Tay, Perthshire. Or they could try hiking one of three routes in the Pentland Hills for the Artemis Pentland Peaks Challenge. Readers can also set their own Move for Meals challenge and jog, climb, even disco dance anywhere in the UK to raise funds!

Taking part in these events will help to support Mary’s Meals, allowing it to reach desperately hungry children with the promise of a school meal across 20 countries including Ethiopia, Haiti, South Sudan and Syria. And with it costing just £15.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a whole school year, it’s easy for your moves to make a difference. Thank you!
Mark Beaumont, athlete and broadcaster.