Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Donnacha Sean Lucey, Brian Turner Julien Mercille
Health Economics, Policy and Law
Ireland's takeover of private hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic
Optional Fields
Health, COVID, Universalism, Health System
In Ireland, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a total of 230,599 cases of infection as on 20 March 2021, and 4323 deaths. Although the Irish hospital network has not been overwhelmed, it has faced pressures, with a total of 13,313 persons hospitalised, including 1402 admitted to the intensive care unit. Out of caution, in spring 2020, in anticipation of possible surges in hospitals in light of international experience, the Irish government reached an agreement with private hospitals to access their capacity for three months to alleviate pressure on the public system, as part of its comprehensive response to the pandemic. This piece analyses the agreement with private hospitals, based on the legally binding Heads of Terms of the agreement, which were signed by the parties, along with publicly reported details from media reports and Oireachtas (parliamentary) committee hearings. We argue that although the new relationship could, in theory, have paved the way to the nationalisation of the whole hospital system, in fact, the experiment is best interpreted as a lost opportunity to integrate and simplify Irelandís hospital system.
Grant Details