We need a stronger health service – and not just in times of crisis

The Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance of public health medicine, but the service is badly in need of reform

Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, gives his daily briefing at the department’s HQ, in Miesian Plaza, Dublin Picture: RollingNews.ie

The emergence of Covid-19 has highlighted the increasing number of public health challenges facing Ireland and the fact that we need to strengthen our services to deal with them.

“Not all superheros wear capes – some wear scrubs and gowns,” declared Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on St Patrick’s Day in his landmark address to the nation during the coronavirus crisis.

Never has that been truer, and although we have seen healthcare staff across all grades step ...