Coronavirus has created an opening for a fairer health service

Legacy of crisis should be a system based on health need, not ability to pay

Simon Harris has said ‘there can be no public versus private here’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Simon Harris has said ‘there can be no public versus private here’. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

It took a crisis as cruel and enormous as the one we are facing to finally hear an Irish minister announce a national health service.

In asserting this week that all private hospitals would be public or run by the State for the duration of the pandemic, Simon Harris said “There can be no public versus private here”, alongside the Taoiseach’s commitment that “public and private patients will be treated equally”.

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