The Daily Telegraph

It does not feel right to discuss symptoms with the GP’S receptioni­st

- Ivybridge, Devon

SIR – I have just spoken with the receptioni­st at my GP and am left somewhat unnerved. She asked me several questions about my symptoms and wanted me to email a photo for a report to pass on to the doctor.

I am reluctant to discuss a medical matter with any receptioni­st, let alone email a photo. This is something that should only be discussed in the privacy of a doctor’s office. Am I alone in feeling this is not right?

Marcus Lawrence

Uxbridge, Middlesex

SIR – GPS should be ashamed to hide behind their computers as colleagues in A&E are overwhelme­d. Patients are dying in queuing ambulances.

The Hippocrati­c Oath says: “Do no harm.” Yet GPS are causing significan­t harm and, what is far worse, they know it. Yet they double down and hope to ride out the storm of protest.

I have to ask: what is the point of a National Health Service if the gatekeeper­s have closed the gate?

If Boris Johnson doesn’t reverse this situation, he will lose the next election as sure as night follows hours of listening to recorded messages from our GPS’ surgeries.

Kevin Mann

Bosham, West Sussex

SIR – Every year, the number of newly registered doctors trained in the United Kingdom (about 5,400) is more than 30 per cent less than those who pass their university degree (about 8,500). This loss of almost-trained manpower in the last 20 years has only been partly balanced by immigratio­n of doctors from other countries.

A study by Goldstone and others in 2014 found that many junior doctors complained that their academic training had not prepared them for the challenges of medical practice. This disconnect may be related to a curriculum overloaded with science at the expense of learning clinical skills.

It is time we had a total review of the medical curriculum, with input from graduates. Medical schools should be required to audit their output, by demonstrat­ing that the students who graduate fulfil their chosen career. Robin Wilding

Bovey Tracey, Devon

SIR – Fraser Nelson wrote an excellent piece (Comment, November 19) about the need for NHS reform.

It is apparent that throwing money at the present system will never meet the needs of the population.

The cost of a modern health care system is too great for central funding by any government. Most other developed countries have realised this and made alternativ­e arrangemen­ts.

The rapid increase in private medicine already points to a readiness by many to pay more for a system that gives choices.

Less tax-led health care, with insurance-backed medicine, works well in other countries. I believe it is time for a serious debate about the future of health and social care in this country.

Ian Wiseman

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