LETTER: Expensive call

Publicity has been given in recent days to the findings of research that indicate that the comparatively high incidence of cancer deaths in Britain arises because people here are more reluctant to contact their doctor than in other European countries surveyed where cancer deaths are lower.

Various reasons for this are suggested such as the British ‘stiff upper lip’; reluctance to ‘waste time’ of busy doctors among others. It seems to me that one of the reasons here in Crawley is the widespread use of 0844 premium rate numbers by medical practices, and the long waiting period before getting through to a practioner.

This makes calling a doctor for advice and/or an appointment is expensive. The idea of a National Health Service ‘ free at the point of access’ has become a joke and the sooner that medical practices can be released from these contracts the better.

Gillian Pitt, Ifield