Hospitals face cuts if top-ups not stopped

HSE says it will consider ‘different relationship’ with bodies that fail to cease paying allowances as directed

St James’s Hospital, Dublin, where the biggest single allowance must be discontinued – the ¤51,617 a year paid to the director of postgraduate medical education. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

St James’s Hospital, Dublin, where the biggest single allowance must be discontinued – the ¤51,617 a year paid to the director of postgraduate medical education. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tue, Apr 15, 2014, 01:00

Funding cuts will be imposed on hospitals and health agencies that fail to cease top-up payments to senior managers as directed by the Health Service Executive.

Some 139 applications from voluntary hospitals and health agencies to continue making top-up payments to senior staff have been rejected in a HSE report sent to the Dáil Public Accounts Committee yesterday. The section 38 agencies funded by the HSE have three months to cease payment.

A HSE spokesman said last night that where a body failed to cease paying the allowances, it would consider “a different relationship” with the organisation. One possibility is a reduction in funding, such as for capital projects, in a way that would not affect frontline services.


Legal challenges
The decision by the HSE’s internal review panel to refuse the vast majority of the 143 applications may be the subject of legal challenges.

The report acknowledges the HSE and Department of Health are not the employers and says it is appropriate for the agencies to “take ownership” of the implementation of their decisions. It suggests obtaining the consent of the individual or imposing the change by issuing a revised contract.

“The Internal Review Panel would expect each employer to take advice prior to implementing such changes so that it does so in a legally compliant manner and/or mitigating risk to the greatest extent possible.”

However, where the allowance is written into a person’s contract or was payable to the previous incumbent, this may prove difficult.

The report says all additional allowances at Tallaght, Cappagh, Coombe Maternity, the Mater, the National Maternity, Crumlin, the Rotunda, St Vincent’s and Temple Street hospitals should cease by July 1st.


Allowance of €51 ,617
The biggest single allowance which must be discontinued is the €51,617 a year paid to the director of post-graduate medical education at St James’s Hospital. Tallaght must stop paying its deputy chief executive* an allowance of €33,250, and Beaumont Hospital cease a deputy chief executive’s* allowance of €18,478.

* This article was amended on April 15th.