7yr/o has hole in ear drum and had 5 infections in that ear since Jan ENT says hole is like ear tube so can't do anything about recurrent infections?

At least not surgery. 7 or 30 yr old? Both are listed in the question. The 7 yo's status is more likely to change over time (perforation can heal). In either case, the ENT is answering the question as to whether placing PE tubes would be helpful. Apparent s/he thinks not, feels the perforation will adequately provide ventilation. However, consider prophylactic antibiotics, often used prior to PET placement.