THERE has been much talk about how the NHS is open for business, but the truth is somewhat different.

Everything is being devoted to tackling the coronavirus, but what about those who need treatment, whether it is for cancer or other illnesses?

For those having regular treatment, they are often finding their appointments being cancelled. I have experienced this myself as I have too much iron in my blood and have to have a regular examination every six months. This is merely illustrative of a problem confronting thousands of others. This may not necessarily be an urgent matter, but leaving tests and treatment can have long term consequences.

It seems to me that the Scottish Government does not have a well thought-out strategy to deal with healthcare for all. Why, for example, are the Covid patients not treated in the new Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, which now lies empty?

This could enable hospitals to deal with other matters, some of which are literally a matter of life or death. It would be interesting to see how many people have died whose lives could have been saved if the treatment was available.

There is also the question of those staff in the NHS who are not dealing with Covid-19 and whose wards are virtually empty. In one case there is a hospital in central Scotland where only two beds out of 48 in the COPD unit are occupied. The question is what is being done for those people would normally be occupying a busy ward?

These problems not only affect hospitals; what about opticians and dentists? Surely given the weeks that have passed, the necessary protective equipment could have been put in place, so that people struggling with galloping toothache or poor vision can be seen.

Action is needed now to deal effectively with the nation’s health.

Ed Archer, Lanark.

MARY Maxwell-Irving (Letters, May 11) is correct when she recalls that that there used to be separate fever and TB hospitals in the past.

These infectious diseases and convalescent facilities (with minimal bed-blocking) were well known throughout Scotland until around the 1960s when the various health boards determined that they did not fit the "one size fits all" plan and sold off the properties to developers to become the housing estates of today. These estates are now where the current patients of hospitals now reside.

This harks back to a letter I had published in The Herald about seven years ago and it seems that things do not change; I fear for much for Ms Maxwell-Irving's wish for the NHS to reverse this situation, starting immediately.

Allan Halliday, Paisley.