WHILE waiting for a chest X-ray recently I was greatly struck by the expense of the one-use gown I was offered beforehand. It was crisply clean and well ironed, and all for less than ten minutes modesty wear!

I was told that one section of the service uses about 80 gowns a day!

How blessed we are with our NHS. Here is another rarely pondered expense along with other hidden ones, such as breast forms for mastectomy patients.

I wish too that our prescriptions could reveal the cost of each medication. I have queued many times behind sick people in West Africa who, having asked the cost of each item on their list, would often simply choose the cheap aspirin when their baby needed an antibiotic.

We have so much to be grateful for in this land.

MARGARET DOUST, Bitterne, Southampton.