​SELF-proclaimed Irish unity think tank, ‘Ireland’s Future’ have teamed up with lobby group, the Daisy Hill Hospital Future Group, to table a bold proposal – the setting up of an all-Ireland, Irish National Health Service.

​Such a move, the group argues, would enhance universal healthcare provision on an all-island basis, as is already the case when it comes to cardiac surgery provision.

A spokesperson for Ireland’s Future stated: "We recently published its latest discussion document titled ‘An Opportunity for a World-Class, All-Island National Health Service’.

“The launch event was moderated by Dr Conor Patterson, chair of the Daisy Hill Hospital Future Group in Newry.

“Both have held numerous positions in state and community healthcare groups and have significant experience in healthcare delivery.

“It is becoming clear that an all-island approach to healthcare is a medical imperative. For too long both the HSE in the south and the NHS in the north have operated sub-optimally on the island of Ireland.

"When the two systems work together, they can work better. The congenital heart disease network is an example. This was built on a Swedish model. What else can we learn from similar-sized countries?

“Patients and medical professionals in Ireland have much in common. It is commonly accepted that every area of healthcare would be improved if there was an all-island approach.

“A new Irish National Health Service provides an opportunity for significant reform.”