Wednesday, 4 February 2009

West Minster Observer.

Every week our local freebie newspaper publish a piece from one of the three local MPs who service wider Great Barr called Westminster Observer. Mostly they are well written and relevant. They are however all Labour MPs so a fair balance is not met. The articles are often away from the main political concerns for that week. Such was the case last week when my MP made his contribution. Because there were some noticeable omissions from his article I thought I would email him and point out some of the bigger issues affecting his constituents over here in Newton. The picture is his article in full. I hope you can read it. My email is as follows:-

"Dear Mr Watson,
I read with interest your article in Great Barr Observer Friday January 30th 2009.
May I congratulate you on a well written and balanced argument concerning cancer care and screening? You have quite rightly made the case for improvements to payments for suffers and to how access to early diagnosis is and will save lives. Your article however glosses over many of the issues which affect suffers. In England we fall far behind the rest of the United Kingdom in health service provision and I refer to prescription charges, car parking at hospital sites and personal care. Early detection of cancers in women is improving as is the other health screening they get. The case with men though is much less well thought through and very little is done at Well Man clinics, that is if your surgery operates one.
The most common cancer for older men is prostate cancer and a simple blood test can reveal indicators which can save lives. PSA prostate specific antigen tests cost about £15 but there is no requirement for men over fifty to have this test. Some doctors do others? ?? What plans are there by health authorities to further introduce health screening for men?
Over the last few years we have lost doctors surgeries in Newton with a devastating effect that recently 1200 patients were in effect left without adequate GP cover for a two week period. Our Primary Care Trust will not totally accept their responsibility in this appalling situation because of the way GPs are often responsible to other PCTs. I understand you had a letter of apology from the Chief Exec of Sandwell PCT concerning the surgery closure but surely this apology should have been made to the patients with detail plans as to how this would be prevented from happening again. We have had a long running battle with PCT over the plans for a Clinic in Great Barr and I have persistently asked for your political support to get this project moving. Can I now assume that you are fully behind getting this clinic being built in Newton and not at the Scott Arms?

I intend to publish this letter together with your response should I get one on my blog because I think it is in the public interest in Newton and Great Barr.

Best wishes

To date I have not received a reply.

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