Mater denies getting €600,000 fee from CRC for pension scheme

Department to introduce new rules on top-up payments

Department of Health secretary general Ambrose McLoughlin has told the Public Accounts Committee that the department will be insisting on the introduction of a system of regular independent governance audits.

Department of Health secretary general Ambrose McLoughlin has told the Public Accounts Committee that the department will be insisting on the introduction of a system of regular independent governance audits.

Thu, Dec 19, 2013, 10:02

The Mater Hospital has strongly denied that it receives a fee of more than €600,000 from the Central Remedial Clinic for administering a pension scheme on behalf of 180 of its staff.

Mater chief executive Mary Day told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee that the money was the CRC’s employer contribution to cover its staff pension scheme.

She said the Mater administered the scheme for historical reasons. “I would like to make it clear that the Mater Hospital receives no payment for this service to the CRC”, she said.

Health services funding at PAC

Last week former CRC chief Paul Kiely said he had been seeking to stop the payment of a €600,000 fee to the Mater in relation to the pension scheme for several years.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health is seeking to bring in new rules on top-up payments to senior managers. The department insists that new directors appointed to the boards of State-funded voluntary hospitals and health agencies must undergo a structured induction programme which will stipulate that they have no discretion to make additional unapproved top-up payments.

Department of Health secretary general Ambrose McLoughlin told the committee that it will also be insisting on the introduction of a system of regular independent governance audits.

“As part of these new induction programmes it will be made clear to new board members of Section 38 agencies (State-funded voluntary hospitals and health bodies) that they have no discretion to make extra payments to staff which are not encompassed by and in line with the department’s consolidated salary scales,” he said.

“All health sector agencies will be encouraged to publish details of payments, whether salary or otherwise, to all senior managers and senior clinicians in their annual reports and to make details easily accessible on websites.”

The Department of Health is also pressing for the publication of the independent governance audits by voluntary hospitals and health agencies as part of their annual reporting process.

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