The hospital waiting-list target has at last been reached, at God knows what human cost, both to patients and staff. Now can we abandon it as a monument to management by headlines? The government and managers are to be congratulated on their determination. But what matters is how long we have to wait and how urgent our problem is, and we need a more sophisticated measure than the number of people waiting in front of us.

Martin Rathfelder Development director Socialist Health Association London E1