Health service €94m over-budget in year to August
Monthly HSE report shows almost 375,000 adults and children on hospital waiting lists
HSE director general Tony O’ Brien: The health service recorded a deficit of €93.7 million for the year to the end of August.
The Health Service Executive recorded a deficit of €93.7 million for the year to the end of August, according to its latest monthly report.
It is now forecasting an end-of-year deficit of €105 million on direct services, including a shortfall of €75 million on hospital spending and €25 million on primary care reimbursement services, including medical cards.
However, the overall deficit is likely to be far higher, when account is taken of a failure to make projected savings under the Haddington Road Agreement and the deferment of payments due from private health insurers until next year.
Projected savings from fee cuts for doctors and other health professionals are also behind target to the tune of €70 million in the first eight months of the year.
The HSE has calculated a figure for the projected over deficit by year’s end, but declined to release it because discussions are ongoing in relation to health insurance and other issues.
Some 45,155 adults and children were on waiting lists for elective procedures in August, while a further 7,602 were waiting for gastro-intestinal procedures, the month’s national performance assurance report states.
Some 374,104 people were on the outpatient waiting list, of whom 84,167 were waiting for more than 12 months. Some 2,236 patients are waiting four years or more.
At the end of August, 1,863,062 (40.6 per cent of the population) had a medical card and 124,361 (2.71 per cent) had a GP visit card.
These numbers include 53,888 with a medical card granted on discretionary grounds and 21,132 with a GP visit card granted on discretionary grounds.
The provision of home help hours is running 2.7 per cent behind target, but 4.2 per cent more home care packages have been provided than was planned.