Introduction Health systems across Europe have been in turmoil for the past two years as successive waves of coronavirus have sent demand for emergency care spiralling. Even when covid is brought under control, health systems will probably take years to recover. Most countries will have large numbers of patients needing planned care whose treatment has been delayed while resources have been diverted to deal with the pandemic. Delivering this care will be further challenged in many places as a result of a global shortage of highly trained clinical staff. Before the pandemic, market mechanisms were – according to the OECD – increasingly being used to improve the delivery of publicly funded healthcare in many countries. These have not been a replacement for state intervention in the
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