Letters: Why are so many of our young people lacking in ambition?
GAVIN Tait (Letters, December 30) is right, the SNP has a lot to answer for when it comes to the scarcity and retention of Scottish doctors, but like the situation of the core issues – obesity and education – the party’s biggest failing came to power promising a new kind of politics is that the situation was already bad and he failed to improve it.
I left school in 1973 and got a summer job as a drama nurse at Bangour Hospital and two of my Linlithgow Academy classmates started at Edinburgh University Medical School, where our next door neighbor was entering his third year. Almost all of the surgeons and staff at Bangour were Scottish. One of the junior surgeons was John Wallwork, who trained in Edinburgh, became a leading heart transplant surgeon and ended his career with a CBE and the presidency of Papworth Hospital.
I have visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary several times this year and have been stuck by the relative lack of Scottish doctors in the fantastic medical and nursing services.
Two reasons that come to mind are the additional human resource and fund requirements caused by the increase in obesity and its impact on health (and a major cause of the UK Covid death rate), and, notwithstanding the reduced Scottish input from the SNP in preference to UK and externally funded foreign students, the declining quality, dynamism and ambition of young Scots.
The decline in the quality of education is well noted, but how many of your readers are puzzled, like me, by the lack of ambition of many of our young people to study difficult subjects and stick to them? A typical and true conversation recently took place when I asked a brilliant 16 year old who had just finished his fifth year and was awaiting his results in Superior English, Sports and Media Studies what he was going for. do, his answer was sixth grade and then probably a three-year course in sports management at Stirling. It’s a change from event management, but it’s not at all the stuff of a generation that bangs the doors of our medical schools with a handful of Aces in tough stuff clamoring for a place.
The fault of this lack of ambition and reality goes far beyond the SNP, even if it could give much more leadership.
Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven.
ARE THERE TOO MANY SPECIALISTS?
GAVIN Tait has, in these columns, often expressed his criticism of several aspects of the management of the NHS by the SNP.
On this occasion, he emphasizes the lack of places allocated to Scottish medical students in Scottish universities with the consequence of the loss of graduates remaining in Scotland.
This situation is compounded in general practice by the number of physicians who choose to work part time. In addition, it was anticipated that all general practitioner practices should include pharmacists and physiotherapists in order to distribute the health care workload within the practices. Unfortunately, this is still a work in progress,
It has been suggested on occasion that medical students are increasingly encouraged to look to specialize rather than pursue a career in general practice. If there was something true about it, we risk seeing specialists learn more and more about less and less and end up knowing everything about nothing.
Not sure if that too could be put at the SNP door.
Malcolm Allan, Bishopbriggs.
THERE IS NO SHORTAGE
YOUR article (“Doctors at ‘breaking point’ due to staff shortage) provides no hard evidence of a doctor shortage in Scotland, but relies on a general statement by the BMA that UK doctors are under great stress due to the pandemic. A Nuffield Trust A survey found that in 2019 Scotland had the highest number of GPs per capita in the UK, 76 per 100,000 population compared to an average British only 60.
Second, when it comes to pay, Scottish GPs receive 43 per cent more than the national average GP salary.
Third, there is little evidence that a large number of Scottish GPs are retiring. Rather the opposite. Over the past decade, the Scottish health service workforce has grown by 14.3%, with almost twice as many admissions as departures in 2020/21. And last year, the number of consultants increased by 3.3%. Last January you reported that the total number of general practitioners in Scotland had risen to 5,134.
The real danger to the Scottish health service is the UK government, which continues to starve the NHS of resources during a global pandemic, tip it over and conclude that large-scale privatization is the only answer. Here in Scotland we disagree which is why staying in the UK is an existential threat to our health.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.
LUCK FOR WORK AND CONSERVATIVES
ADAM Tomkins once again provides us with a thoughtful analysis of the political situation in Scotland (“Nationalist or Unionist … Three Ways to Break the Impasse in Politics”, The Herald, December 29), concluding that our nation is in a state of “endless stasis”. His comments on the merits of different political parties are fair, in particular his failure to regard the LibDems as worthy of mention, but most notable of his findings is his view that Unionist parties in Scotland stand no chance of winning. replace the SNPs unless they unite into a single anti-independence force.
It is a dream that will never come true, but it highlights the simple fact that the ‘endless stasis’ is not linked to the competence of any of the parties but to the constitutional stasis which forces the Scottish nation to accept. all the voters of the government south of the border decides to impose it. The Scottish Labor or Conservative parties would be fully credible candidates to win power in an independent Scotland if either or both abandoned their stubborn opposition to independence and gave their lost supporters a chance to return to the fold by giving our nation the opportunity to elect their party. to rule Scotland.
Willie Maclean, Milngavie.
JOHNSON IS OFFSET
Dr Bruce Halliday (Letters, December 30) accuses Nicola Sturgeon of “strangling the life of the Scottish economy”. I would say it is Covid that is stifling the life of the economy, and much worse, the lives and well-being of far too many people.
Yes, there are reasons to be optimistic, and the Prime Minister has acknowledged it, but caution must be the order of the day, as this terrible disease continues to wreak havoc around the world, including in the United States. United States where cases are increasing sharply, and I am surprised that Dr. Halliday should support reducing the quarantine in the United States to five days. He accuses Ms. Sturgeon of being “more and more out of step”, but out of step with whom? Wales and Northern Ireland have also introduced their own restrictions; if anyone is out of step, it is Boris Johnson’s government.
What I find encouraging is that the vast majority of people take Ms. Sturgeon’s advice, celebrate the holiday season wisely, and roll up their sleeves to get the shot; no one wants to make 2022 a victim of the coronavirus in any form.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.
ATTENTION ON SELF-INSULATION
As disease control experts around the world continue to debate whether or not to reduce periods of coronavirus self-isolation to less than 10 days, it is interesting to note that Dr Bruce Halliday is convinced that five days are sufficient.
Achieving an optimal balance of all relevant considerations, including economics, is not straightforward, especially with critical data changing from day to day, but it can be misleading (even irresponsible in public health) and can do not help an objective assessment, when personal opinion is expressed only with partial information.
A reduction in the United States from 10 days to five days must be followed by strict mask use for an additional five days, and a reduction in England from 10 days to seven days only applies to those who receive results. Lateral Flow Device (LFD) negatives for both Covid-19 tests performed on days six and seven of isolation without coronavirus. This of course assumes that the LFDs are available for testing to be taken on days six and seven which is not guaranteed as has been found, especially in England, in recent days.
Stan Grodynski, Longniddry.
THEN ABOLISH HOLYROOD
The Scots cannot therefore celebrate the New Year like their neighbors. The Shortbread Senate and its cowardly and incompetent leaders have once again failed Scotland. Our collective New Year’s resolution for 2022 should be to abolish Holyrood.
John Dunlop, Ayr.
WHAT IS A COVID DEATH?
IF I tested positive for Covid and during isolation fell down the stairs causing injury resulting in my death within 28 days, would I be counted as a Covid death? In other words, are almost all the deaths currently reported in Scotland likely to be attributed to Covid?
CÃ©lia Judge, Ayr.
Read more: Time Sturgeon stopped strangling the economy