In the past, public health often was a source of easy enrichment for private entrepreneurs who were active in the health sector.

It was the cow that everyone could milk as they saw fit with a lack of transparency.

The public health system suffered from this situation which operated at the expense of taxpayers and to the detriment of services offered to patients.

That does not mean that hospitals should be excluded from public-private partnerships or that the dysfunctions of the past will be repeated.

This new institution should be tested in practice in terms of the economic and management parameters and the quality of services offered to patients.

Hence it was proper for the health ministry to proceed with a pilot programme for such collaborations at three hospitals – two in Attica and one in another part of the country - with the aim of renewing the antiquated equipment of the National Health Service.

This collaboration must be tested without blinders and fixed notions. It should be tested with strict checks, transparency, and accountability.

It should be condemned only if it fails when implemented and does not produce the desired results.

A successful test, however, cannot but lead to the expansion of such collaborations.

It is time for everyone to understand that the private sector is not a priori callous and profit-driven and that everything in the public sector is necessarily ineffective and counter-productive.