This week’s Letters to the Editor

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This week’s letters to the editor includes a response to a guest-columnist’s views on the NHS, and a suggestion to rename the island for publicity purposes.


We have many reasons to thank the NHS

The diatribe from the SNP-loving Jack McDonald about our NHS (The Buteman, February 13), with all his vain comments and that the problems were all caused by the hated Conservative and Labour governments, is strictly not true.

It is a long time since I have read such rubbish and Walter Mitty statements; I would suggest he take a course on communication skills.

I am also of an age where lots of bits of me do not function; hence, I pray and thank the good Lord every night for our wonderful NHS, warts and all.

I attend the respiratory clinic at Gartnavel Hospital, and have done since 2003, wonderfully looked after by the very professional staff.

Never in all my years of attending Gartnavel have I ever waited more than 30 minutes for a parking space. I find the statement that Mr McDonald drove around for in excess of two and a half hours as utter tripe. He then had to call and cancel his appointment? Rubbish.

As regards his appointment at Oban, I am sure a call to his doctor at Bute Practice would have soon sorted that out.

I also have been referred by doctors at Inverclyde for scans, and have never waited very long before I was offered an appointment.

On one occasion our illustrious ferry provider deemed the sea was too rough; one phone call to cancel and an explanation later, and I was given a priority appointment next day.

Mr McDonald said his son was offered an appointment at Vale of Leven Hospital and a, “drone” at the call centre gave him a reason.

The use of the word “drone” to describe a person working in a call centre, dealing with the public, speaks volumes of Mr McDonald’s attitude. The McDonalds seem to have a problem with traveling to the outposts of NHS Greater Glasgow area, but to make reference to Norway - oh dear.

Mr McDonald then had a senior moment when he double dosed on his blood thinner meds. Easily done - I have done it myself. When I was put on to anticoagulant medication, during my discussions with my doctor in the use of this very dangerous drug, the overdose question and what I should do was fully discussed.

The doctor never mentioned calling “the morons and clowns” (Mr McDonald’s words, not mine), at NHS 24.

I have only personally used NHS 24 once: I took very ill at 1am, my wife called them and explained the situation, and very quickly Dr Lewis -Smith was at my bedside.

As an all too frequent visitor to our Victoria Hospital’s A&E department, I have never witnessed the young mothers club to which Mr McDonald refers. I have seen mothers with sick children attend A&E by referral from the surgery, but “the little club”? I have never seen anything like that.

Mr McDonald should cheer up. His Florence Nightingale, in the guise of the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will surely be able to wring a few billion more from that awful House of Commons.

The Tory and Labour parties that have starved the Scottish NHS for years are just quaking in their shoes at the thought of Eck and the 45ers taking up residence in London.

Then again, Mr McDonald could move over the Firth to a place called the mainland. He would then be away from Highland Health Board, and could settle in a health board area that suits him.

But something tells me he would not be any better off. Waiting two weeks to see your GP? No, not for me. I will stay put on the lovely island of Bute.

Mr A. Fowler

7 Wyndham Court, Ardbeg

Renaming Bute would make publicity easier

When it comes to marketing the ‘name’ is all-important.

For instance, people go on holiday to Arran but not necessarily to Brodick. Yet other people go on holiday to Millport. No-one goes on holiday to Great Cumbrae. Many people come to Rothesay for their holidays, few come to Bute.

Despite living on Bute I still get mail addressed to Paul McKay, Kingarth, Rothesay.

My learned friend tells me that Rothesay is Norse for Roderic’s Isle. So why don’t we agree with accepted usage and call the whole island Rothesay instead of its Anglicised Gaelic name of Bute? That way everyone will know where we are and it will make the job of marketeers much easier.

Paul McKay

Tigh-na-Ceol, Kingarth