Sir, – Cathal O’Sullivan’s letter (November 16th) should be essential reading for politicians and administrators who have responsibility for our health service. He points out that, in comparison to the UK, we have per capita 20 per cent more expenditure on health, 11 per cent more doctors and 56 per cent more nurses. And yet our health outcomes are substantially worse.

These statistics point to an obvious truth. We should not need additional funding or additional resources to produce materially better experiences for our citizens who need healthcare. What we do need is that managers in our health system do the job for which they are well paid. – Yours, etc,


Rathmines, Dublin 6.


Sir, – Cathal O’ Sullivan suggests that most patients in this country would be delighted to have the NHS system based on impressive secondary (hospital) care data. Less impressive, however, is UK primary care data.

The average wait for a routine GP appointment in the UK has risen above two weeks for the first time. More than one in five UK GPs have reported that the wait for a routine appointment exceeded three weeks, while more than one in 20 have said it was more than four weeks. While primary care in Ireland is facing many difficulties regarding retention and recruitment of GPs, I doubt that many patients in this country would be delighted to have the NHS primary care system. – Yours, etc,


Rosslare Strand,

Co Wexford.