DR Andrew Buist is correct in stating that the NHS in Scotland is facing the worst crisis in 72 years ("NHS facing greatest crisis in its history, say doctors", The Herald, October 3). Indeed the NHSiS as we have known it is no more. What is more astounding in our adversarial parliamentary democracy is his contention that the Scottish Government does not wish to talk about it or explain in case “opposition politicians make capital out of it”. This assessment beggars belief but is correct. Where is this opposition? While Holyrood argues about who said what about whom in a parochial political spat about a Salmond/Sturgeon vendetta, the largest department for which the Government is responsible, with almost 45 per cent of the Scottish budget and which is facing disaster, hardly gets a mention. The Health Secretary is unchallenged and the shadow health minister is anonymous and unheard. Even the ever-combative Ruth Davidson is absent from any debate.

The Opposition, Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats and even the Greens are culpable in a gross dereliction of their parliamentary duty to the Scottish people in not daily holding the Government to task over the future of NHS services. All are seduced by the relatively trivial Covid disease, which in the long term will have done more harm to the whole of the overall health of the people by shutting down the NHS, than was ever likely by its own effects however sad for some.

The lack of challenge to the Government by opposition politicians on the care and planning of a service used annually by a third of the population, and sadly also a compliant undemanding media, is failing us all.

Gavin R Tait FRCSEd, East Kilbride.

I NOTE with interest your report on the state of GP services ("Doctors warn of a ‘perfect storm’ in surgeries", The Herald, October 2). Trying to get an appointment to see our local GP is pretty much impossible. First, you have to talk to the receptionist about your problem so that she can decide if you should talk to a GP or a nurse. Secondly, a triage clinician will call you back to assess what attention you need. Thirdly, if necessary, the GP calls, takes details over the phone, and then makes a recommendation about treatment, all done without any face to face time.

Add to that a letter I received from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde pretty much indicating that you shouldn’t hold your breath for your postponed appointment to be re-instated any time soon. It outlines a procedure similar to the one above for GPs, and indicates that you will be assessed in your absence, expected to go to any hospital within the GGC area, and by using public transport, be exposed to the dangers of Covid-19. This would be no more than an inconvenience if it wasn’t for the fact that 70-year-olds were, at the outset of the lockdown, advised by Matt Hancock to stay at home for 16 weeks. Are we now magically immune to the disease?

And finally, if you are 70 years old or over, and you want a flu vaccination, you have to take several buses to go to the inoculation centre at St Mirren’s football ground and in the process, once more expose yourself to the dangers of catching Covid. The final insult here is that other younger at risk patients are able to go to a point within our town.

Francis Deigman, Erskine.

I READ with interest the letter (October 3) from Dave Biggart regarding his experiences in trying to arrange a different appointment time for his flu jab. I can only agree with his comments since the same thing has happened to me.

However, may I raise some additional points?

My local health centre informed me that as an over-65, I would receive my jab at a hub in Paisley, since they would be concentrating on the 18-65 age group. Surely this younger age group are the ones who are most likely to be able to transport themselves to hubs outwith the village?

Many over-65s may no longer be driving, and in addition may be reluctant to use public transport owing to the Covid pandemic. To add insult to injury, even if a friendly neighbour offers them a lift to the hub, Covid restrictions mean that they cannot take up the offer.

To devise a system of innoculations where the most vulnerable are most likely to be unable to receive protection is surely an act of total folly.

Bill Waddell, Bishopton.

DAVE Biggart (Letters, October 3) is one of the lucky ones, he got an appointment for a flu jab. My wife and I, both in our eighties, have not heard hide nor hair from the authorities on this matter. Is there a postcode lottery in place?

Bill Bridges, Giffnock.

ON Saturday a man went to every one of 100-plus houses in our road, putting an advertising document in every letterbox.

Surely such actions should be banned at present?

Kenneth Roberts, Lenzie.

Read more: Letters: Time to call out Ruth Davidson's double standards