The quiet cuts to the NHS pushing us towards private healthcare

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The silent privatisation of the health service that Liam Clegg writes about (Letters, 14 February) is working well in Somerset. Here, we have no NHS dermatologists for new referrals. For some necessary but not urgent surgery I have just been offered the choice of treatment at several NHS hospitals, between 35 and 80 miles away, all with a waiting time of at least four months. I phoned the local private hospital and was told: “We have five dermatologists. Would you like to hear their specialisms?” Treatment: soon. Cost: over £1,000.
Wendy Ritson

• Liam Clegg was recommended to seek treatment at Boots for his earwax-related hearing loss. Since the pharmacy is American-owned and has its headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, it would appear that the US is already benefiting considerably from the demise of the NHS. One can only speculate where his £60 will end up.
Joanna Rimmer
Newcastle upon Tyne

• Liam Clegg is not alone. My husband has been warned by our local GP surgery that future removal of earwax will probably have to be paid for elsewhere. I wonder if earwax is now considered a lifestyle choice of the hairy-eared and thus not a matter for the NHS.
Siân Boardman

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