Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

We are proud of the NHS and the high quality free healthcare it provides and take note that Elizabeth Mortimer (Letters, January 7) suggests that taxes should continue to rise to fully fund them. Unfortunately, there will never be enough money to fully fund his service because the majority choose an unhealthy lifestyle that creates rising costs as we age.

The answer lies in self-help by parents to ensure that children do not suffer from obesity. We need to adopt healthy diets and exercise more and this needs motivation. The higher risk associated with Covid-19 has led many to start losing weight. Therein lies the solution: if we see a reason, not just to start, but to sustain change, there will be long-term benefits.

Can we learn from the successful anti-smoking campaign that not only identified the dangers of smoking but increased taxes, which over many years has led to a long-term reduction in smoking.

Would health-related money incentives, which increase every year for say three years, strengthen dietary and exercise habits that would significantly reduce the cost to the NHS over time? We can all start by walking the last stop to our destination and changing lives in small steps.

We’re trying to fill the tub with the plug out! Health services will struggle as more taxes are raised to pay for healthcare costs. But if we learn to do more to take care of ourselves wisely, the NHS can thrive.

Richard Ross
Chairman, Rosetrees Trust
London HA8, United Kingdom

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