IT is misleading to suggest, as A Parkin appears to do (HAS, Apr 10), that there is no money for the treatment of the needy who have "paid into the NHS" while asylum seekers with life-threatening diseases are "given treatment immediately".

The main reason for a minority of deserving patients, such as the Chilton cancer sufferer Kathleen Devonport, not getting drug treatment is mishandling and maldistribution of enormous sums of money that this Government has injected into the NHS.

Many health trusts are struggling to balance their books at a time when billions of pounds of taxpayers' money have been squandered on management consultants, NHS logos and illconceived computerisation of patient records.

It is sad that, in supporting a legitimate case for compassion, some of your correspondents have exposed their ignorance of facts and drifted into scapegoating a group of patients who are no less deserving of our support.

Abdul Jaleel, Retired NHS Consultant, Darlington.