Letter: Hospital mergers

THE SECRETARY of State for Health and the East Kent Health Authority appear bent on closing Kent and Canterbury Hospital. All the major treatments will be passed to hospitals in Margate and Ashford, leaving a cottage hospital here for nosebleeds and minor cases of gout. This proposal has come after the traditional heart-searching and, of course, bean-counting and is the only logical course.

It is perfectly simple: you just have to imagine that Canterbury was not there and you were going to build it.

"Let's have a city of at least 40,000 people, and about another 100,000 just outside, with a big tourist attraction in the middle; say, two million visitors a year. We'd better have a university - everyone else has got one - so put 20,000 kids up there. Stick all the well-known stores in the High Street and a couple of supermarkets on the fringe. We'll need a railway station - make that two - a bus station and a coach park. Fire brigade here, police there. Dot some industry around, some churches and a few schools and that should do it."

"What about a hospital?"

"Oh, stick that fifteen miles away."