Health funding

PUBLISHED: 16:29 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

SIR, — Contrary to your headline, St Albans district is not losing out on health funding (Herts Advertiser, January 29). Differences in funding per head of population are related to need, not wealth, and there is ample evidence to show that families on

SIR, - Contrary to your headline, St Albans district is not "losing out on health funding" (Herts Advertiser, January 29). Differences in funding per head of population are related to need, not wealth, and there is ample evidence to show that families on lower incomes suffer more ill health, have shorter lives and require more help from the NHS. This principle is long established and is accepted by all major parties.

MP Anne Main is out of line with Conservative policy as stated by Andrew Lansley, the opposition health spokesman, that the purpose of the NHS is to address need. If she is demanding redistribution of funds to those who need them least at the expense of those who need them most, this is a curious stance for a party committed to reducing waste in public spending. She might as well complain that St Albans children get fewer free school meals than those in other districts. If on the other hand she is demanding an increase in NHS spending to bring all districts up to the level of Islington, she will have to consult with her shadow chancellor first.

There are of course inequalities in health within St Albans district, both between and within local authority wards. The Practice Based Commissioning group of local GP practices is committed to identifying areas of greatest need with a view to reducing these inequalities. This is a much worthier aim than a call to revert to the past when only the wealthy could afford proper medical care.

GAVIN ROSS,

Connaught Road, Harpenden.

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