AA Gill critiques NHS in his final Sunday Times piece

"People react differently to different cancers: most women think they'll survive and statistically they're right. Most men think they'll die - and likewise."

AA Gill's final piece in The Sunday Times today sees the restaurant critic evaluate his life and his treatment within the National Health Service (NHS) - a day after his death was announced.

He writes how he was told how he would have to switch from private to publish healthcare in order to get the treatment he needed for his lung cancer.

"If I need an x-ray, a consultant, I'll pay. If i need anything more than couple of antibiotics, I'm going to the NHS.

"The NHS has one of the worst outcomes for cancer treatment in Europe."

He also spoke about waiting times within the public health sector.

"The health service was set up with GPs separate from hospitals. The system means you probably have to wait a week or so for an appointment to see first your GP, or a clinic. The average time for that consultation will be seven minutes.

"Perhaps you cough isn't a priority. And then if your doctor thinks it does need a second opinion, you see a consultant and that's likely to take a month. If the GP suspects cancer, that referral time is reduced to two weeks."

Criticising the societal reaction to a cancer diagnosis, he said cancer is "frightening".

"It's not being told you've got cancer that is the test of character, it's the retelling ... It ought to come with a roll of thunder and five Jewish violinists, instead of the creaky whisper of fear."

Last month, Gill revealed his diagnosis in his weekly column, calling his illness "the full English of cancer".

The diagnosis prompted his marriage to his long-term partner Nicola Formby.