Opinion Analysis

Sunday 24 September 2017

FG and Labour, at your health service

The public hospital system is similar to a restaurant -- but will the food soon run out, asks Prof John Crown

THE dominant theme of the last week of the election campaign is the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton impersonation being performed by Fine Gael and Labour.

Historically their on-off romance has been characterised by bursts of apparently profound and very public mutual hostility, punctuated by equally public and emotional hatchet-burying reconciliations. The fact that there is an outside chance of a Fine Gael single-party government wooing multiple independents (the bachelor-playing-the-field option) has increased the temperature of the courtship, with Labour going to great pains to remind the electorate of the steadying influence of a committed monogamous relationship with a wise, dependable partner.

The key question facing us is whether the two parties can make their marriage work for five years, and I have been asked to commentate on the compatibility of their health reform policies.

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