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Why did it not happen sooner? The UK Government will publish statistics on mortality in National Health Service hospitals.

Are we to think governments disbelieve knowledge revealed by statistics? Well, we should not.

Here in Ireland we have a deep resistance in our government to the disclosure of information. When will we follow the lead of the UK government? The Irish public pays for the HSE and is, in principle, entitled to know something as important as the level of death in our various hospitals. Indeed, there are many other statistical items of information that the public ought to know, like the incidence of nosocomial (health care-institution related) infections or disease associated with our different hospitals.

What is staggering is that the reason the public needs to know such things is to ensure that the HSE management effectively deals with the problems that would be revealed generally. I say generally, because it must be a certainty that the knowledge is already known to the HSE and the Department of Health and Children. It is, in short, already revealed; revealed to some, but not to the public. This is what must be changed.