THE use of euphemisms by governments is an age-old tradition but the misuse of the word ''health'' has gone unnoticed too long: it has now reached a point which, ironically, is dangerous to health. President Clinton has recently unveiled his ''health-care'' plan and the Hong Kong Government also refers to ''health care'' in its recent consultative document - Towards Better Health. However, ''health care'' has come to mean ''dealing with the sick'' and the consultative document's main thrust is to review medical fees. It is all at the same level of euphemism as a supermarket display board which I saw in the US headed ''Health Centre'' comprising aspirins and antacids. There is no doubt that the word ''health'' has been hijacked by the medical industry; the consultative document even makes reference to ''consumers.'' The consequence of this is that there is now no word left to describe the processes of keeping a society and its people healthy and keeping them out of the hands of the medical industry. There is no policy which begins with a definition of health. The head of the Department of Community Medicine of the Chinese University recently resigned because the issue was not being taken seriously by Government. I would suggest that the issue has deeper roots: how can Government administrators act on something which has no name and, therefore, cannot be seen to exist? An aim of a true ''health policy'' would be to reduce the numbers using the sickness facilities. If this were to be faced, many of the problems set out in the consultative document would be lessened. This, and not changing the fees structures, would be areal move Towards Better Health. In order to deal effectively with this growing problem, the Government should consider re-creating the Secretary for Health post to deal only with matters of its title and establishing a new post called Secretary for Medicine to deal with most of the present portfolio. Only when the word ''health'' is given back its true meaning will its importance to society be properly identified. ERIC SPAIN Lantau When, subsequently, a true health programme is instituted, the fallacies and enormous waste of resources perpetuated by the present mis-use of the word will begin to be seen.