HARVEY COLE (Letters, 7 November) cannot understand how a patient who opts to pay for their operation can reduce the wait for others on the NHS, bearing in mind that surgeons are not omnipresent. That is easily achieved - the surgeon operates in their spare time. I have just completed a private list this (Sunday) morning. I have no NHS responsibilities today, no NHS patient has been adversely affected and my waiting list has been kept shorter. I agree that displacing patients from NHS lists to allow private work to be done is iniquitous, but if the two can be kept separate, NHS patients, private patients and health providers can all benefit.
LAWRENCE JOHN ROBERTS