Health Spending


Sir, - Your account of the shenanigans in the Dail over hospital ward closures (The Irish Times, November 13th) makes depressing reading. Our politicians devote their vociferous energies to a side issue while carefully avoiding the central one.

It is dishonest to pretend that waiting lists can be abolished from the health system. On the one hand the cost of health care will continue to soar, driven by rising public expectations and ever more expensive advances in medical technology. On the other hand, resources will always be limited.

Rather than engaging in point-scoring, our politicians ought to be leading the search for a national consensus on how, as a nation, we wish to manage the situation. This search involves public education and debate.

One way to start the process could be an Oireachtas committee holding public hearings at which experts from here and abroad would discuss the nature and size of the problems as well as the pros and cons of possible solutions. Members of the public ought also be heard to ensure a balanced outcome.

Could we please have some leadership from our political leaders? - Yours, etc.,

Brendan Burke,

Millview Lawns,


Co Dublin.