LETTER:Can we afford ill-health?

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The Independent Online
From Dr A. R. Cadamy

Sir: A health authority has only so much money and doctors are asked to agonise over who should receive treatment and who be allowed to die ("Father fights refusal to fund transplant", 10 March). Contrast that with events at our local hospital.

After 23 years since the opening of the hospital to the public, a child playing near the stairs falls through the handrail. Within days money is found to box in all handrails in the hospital. A fire prevention officer does a survey, and within a year thousands of pounds are found to carry out his recommendations, which also involves closing two wards at a time for much of the year.

Why is it that the Health and Safety Executive and the Fire Prevention officer have absolute power over how NHS money is spent, with no apparent risk or cost-benefit analysis, while doctors have to justify spending money on someone who has as much as a 10 per cent chance of survival?

Yours faithfully,



West Yorkshire

10 March