Letter: NHS absurdities

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The Independent Online
Sir: My hospital is headed for a budget deficit of pounds 500,000. Because we cannot carry over the deficit to the next financial year, as any sensible business would, we have been forced to close one-half of our operating sessions, one- third of our operating theatres and one-sixth of our beds - all to save 1.7 per cent of our income. We may be permitted to reopen beds if we can gouge money from fund-holding family doctors and thus offer patients a 'two tier' service.

It really is no good for Angela Lambert ('A whiff of NHS decay', 28 December), as if she were the one to discover them, to rabbit on about the absurdities of a fiscal system that can lead to such madness. 'The National Health Service is on its deathbed.' Of course the NHS is on its deathbed. Everyone knows that and knew it before the last general election. It is dying of starvation.

When people like me prophesied the famine and raged against the 'preposterous new ethos' (for our pains we had an editorial blast from the Independent - 'reactionary', I think we were called), where was Angela Lambert?

Yours faithfully,

PETER V. SCOTT

Consultant Anaesthetist

The Alexandra Hospital

Redditch, Worcestershire

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