Imagine Irish emigrants returning home because there are jobs here for them. All those medical professionals who had studied for years in Irish universities and colleges finally able to return to practice their trade at home. Imagine nurses and frontline staff, who had been on strike over conditions and pay a year earlier, being celebrated for being the heroes that they are. Being acknowledged as priceless. Imagine valuing our carers.
Imagine beds in a private hospital being used by the public system for anyone and everyone. Imagine you were waiting weeks for a vital scan using your health insurance, when out of fear and worry you rang a public hospital, only to be told you could have the scan the next day. Then the results were sent in a WhatsApp message to your consultant, who rang you with an update and plan of action. True story that only happened because of Covid19.
Now that we have seen our public and private healthcare systems merge to serve the common good can we keep it that way? All the money pumped into private insurance could be going into a national healthcare system that treats everyone equally. Now that we are making unexpected changes to consultations can we adopt those changes forever? I hear lots of talk that we must not return to business as usual. Let’s figure out how to stay on the path to valuing everyone who needs healthcare equally. Maybe it is time that we consider a national health service.
29 March 2020