Readers' letters: Right to health care is a common good

Rishi Sunak is registered with a private GP practice that charges £250 for a half hour consultation.

A house call sets you back £400 – £500, but a phone consultation is just £150. Not a problem for Rishi and other rich people.

If ‘public servants’ had to use public services, they might comprehend their value and fund them adequately.

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Instead, Tory and Labour governments have steadily privatised the NHS in England. Half of all hospital beds are private and a quarter of all services that used to be free at the point of need are private.

Several politicians, Chancellor Hunt included, have financial interests in private health companies.

Healthcare underinvestment is biting. Former Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane warns the population’s worsening health is, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, a drag on economic growth.

Spending on health boosts the economy. Healthy people live and work longer and have fewer sick days. A pound spent on healthcare adds four times that amount to the economy.

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Scotland spends more on health than any other UK nation and has the best outcomes. It has so far managed to avoid selling off its health service, but the corporate vultures are circling.

The right to health care is a common good. Scotland’s long-hidden constitution, upheld by the Claim of Right, gives the people the power to sack a government that fails to uphold the common good. It’s time the Scottish people gave Westminster a pink slip.

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Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Will of the people didn’t vote for Angus

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Mr Angus Robertson demands that the will of the people should be respected and to support his view went on to present percentages to baffle the unwary and to show a democratic right to a referendum (News, 22 November).

The point that Mr Robertson and his party fail or refuse to accept is that the SNP is a minority government but they claim to represent the majority, a claim that has not be proven in an election.

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The "arrangement" between SNP and the Green Party only came about after the election and many Green Party voters have found supporting the SNP's drive for independence was not what they were in the Green Party for.

They were about environmental issues and have moved allegiances to purely environmental groups. "The electorate has decided it should be this parliamentary term." Sorry again, Mr Robertson, but the SNP, a minority government, were the party who put that to the nation at the last election and failed to win a majority and thus a single political party mandate for a referendum.

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Mr Clark, Edinburgh.

It’s Christmas, so it must be Edinburgh

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Who on earth is responsible for the crass Edinburgh signage which has appeared in front of the Xmas tree on the Mound?

I think everyone, both residents and visitors, has a pretty good idea of where they are.

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John Bowles, Edinburgh.

Race/religion blur

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We welcome Aberdeenshire Council's Business Services Committee carefully considering and rejecting an ill-defined guide to Islamophobia.

Discrimination based on skin colour is irrational and loathsome but religious ideas, like all ideas, are rightly subject to analysis and challenge.

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Free speech itself is the cost of blurring the two.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh.

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