Dan O’Brien: Why banning private practice in our public hospitals is not the answer

The problem with Irish healthcare is not a lack of resources, it is that abundant resources are not used as efficiently as they should be

Most countries allow doctors to mix private and public practice for the good reason that it improves overall patient welfare, and saves the taxpayer money to boot. Picture: Getty

It’s rare that you read something that completely changes how you view an issue, but that is what happened to me last week. It was a paper published by Xidong Guo and Sarah Parlane, two UCD academics in the School of Economics, and it contained this bombshell: “The percentage of the population with unmet medical needs on average is much more prominent in the countries that forbid private practice within public hospitals”.

It has been ...