I COULD not agree more with the sentiments of Dr Hamish Maclaren (Letters, August 4) when he cautioned against “Zoom medicine” being accepted as the new norm. While at medical school in Glasgow I benefited very much from the teachings of Macleod’s Clinical Examination and learned that in sitting talking with a patient, checking the rate, rhythm and volume of their pulse while examining the eyes for any sign of anaemia or jaundice can be very helpful signs as to how well or otherwise that person might be.

While video consultations are able to give us some of the clinical picture, I have not yet mastered the art of ascertaining as to whether there are any crackles or wheezes in the chest by way of Zoom rather than by my use of the stethoscope.

Dr Alan Mitchell, Motherwell.

I SHARE the serious concerns expressed by Dr Hamish Maclaren on the subject of "Zoom medicine". The views of a politician temporarily in the post of Health Secretary for England should not be allowed to lead to such a radical change in the nature of the centuries-old traditional relationship between doctor and patient.

Further, I would invite doctors to consider how readily such a definitive change, other than in exceptional circumstances can be equated with part of the Hippocratic Oath, which in a modern version states inter alia: "I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drugs." It is difficult to imagine Zoom medicine generating comparable amounts of those three highly desirable and beneficial elements of the human condition.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

CAN I voice my complete agreement with David Bryson (Letters, August 4) in his comments regarding opening pubs but not gyms?

Sadly this reflects politicians' inability to see beyond short-term problems: the health of the nation has a massive impact on our health services, but that is in the future so why not let someone else sort it out later? Physical health has been shown time and again to improve our medical needs as we age, even to the extent of shortening recovery times post-operations.

So why are pubs opening when only a fantasist would believe that after several drinks customers will adhere to social distancing guidelines? In our tennis and fitness centre in Prestwick we have utilised one of our indoor courts to space out gym machines and exercise classes, so everyone adheres to social distancing and our members' judgment will not be impaired by alcohol. Yet we cannot open. I appreciate there are problems with large gyms, especially those which are unsupervised, but gyms like ours which are constantly supervised by qualified instructors must represent a far lesser risk than certain pub chains.

Until our politicians are willing to face up to the massive hidden costs of obesity and poor physical fitness they will continue to burden the NHS with unnecessary costs.

David Stubley, Prestwick.

I AM sure Nicola Sturgeon is very aware of the obesity crisis, however you do not have to visit a gym to lose weight and stay healthy.

I make sure I have a good healthy diet and I take plenty of (free) exercise by walking, working in my garden, keeping myself busy around the house and not sitting about eating junk food.

I am a fit and healthy 81-year-old and have never visited a gym in my life.

Ellen Japp, High Blantyre.