Troika mission focuses on health
European Commission sources have said the EU-IMF-ECB troika mission in Dublin this week will focus on strengthening budgetary management in the health sector.
Minister for Health James Reilly’s department will be under scrutiny after it emerged that experts from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank had particular concerns about budget overruns in the health sector.
The eighth review of Ireland’s bailout programme will examine the possibility of strengthening budgetary management in the sector to ensure agreed objectives can be delivered within budget, commission sources said.
Dr Reilly’s spokesman said measures to improve and enhance financial controls were already being implemented. “One of the chief concentrations at this time is the putting in place of medium and long term solutions to enhance the capacity of the HSE to enforce financial control,” the spokesman said.
“In recent times international financial expert Mark Ogden carried out an examination in the HSE and produced a report highlighting the improvements to be made in financial controls.
“The recommendations included the putting in place of key figures at national and local level both in the HSE and in the Department of Health. Further interventions involving other financial consultants underscored these points. These improvements and enhancements are currently being implemented.”
The mission that got under way yesterday will also consider potential measures to kick-start lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Commission sources said the mission would focus on ensuring Ireland’s remaining fiscal adjustment was durable, growth-friendly and in line with programme targets. There would also be an emphasis on ensuring burden-sharing was fair and that the most vulnerable members of society were protected.
The review will also focus on the further development of ongoing technical work which sources said would enhance the sustainability of the bailout programme.