A British doctor has apologised for his comments on Ireland's health service during an appearance on Good Morning Britain today.
Dr Hilary Jones, a regular contributor on medical issues for media organisations, was slammed on social media for suggesting that Ireland has no health service.
In response to a question regarding the measures being put in place by the British government when compared to others, Dr Jones responded: "If you look at different countries, they all have different health systems and different situations and circumstances.
"The Republic of Ireland, for example, they don't have a health service so they must be very worried about how they would cope with lots of people getting the virus all at once."
@DrHilaryJones you are completely inaccurate on this. The Republic of Ireland have the HSE which is incredibly similar to the NHS in the UK. PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS WHEN YOU DONT HAVE THE FACTS. I am disgusted at how you have insulted Ireland. pic.twitter.com/Qkr5zvC882
— LyndseyK says #stayhomesavelives (@boughsof) March 16, 2020
That comment was met with incredulity from members of the GMB panel, which prompted some clarification from Dr Jones, who stated that "it's largely private."
Dr Jones' appearance has sparked considerable backlash from viewers in Ireland, who felt the need to defend the tireless work being put in by the Health Service Executive during these unprecedented times.
The 66-year-old has since taken to social media to apologise for how he phrased his point.
Apologies to anyone who thought I was denigrating the Republic of Ireland’s HSE. That was never my intention the point I was making is that different countries have different health systems, different demographics & different current circumstances regarding #coronavirus
— Dr. Hilary Jones (@DrHilaryJones) March 16, 2020