St Vincent’s Healthcare group says it will ‘swing around into compliance’ with pay rules
Group chief executive to be paid exclusively from private funds in future
Noel Whelan, chairman of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group: said the group was now in a process aimed at resolving a dispute with the HSE over whether it actually was in compliance with Government pay policy.
The chairman of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group Prof Noel Whelan has said the organisation is going to “swing around into compliance” with Government public service pay policy.
The group has come under fire over the payment of additional sums to senior executives over and above HSE-approved salaries for work carried out in its private hospital.
Prof Whelan said the group had received legal advice, including from Michael McDowell SC, which indicated that it was in compliance with pay policy as public money was not being used to make the additional payments to senior executives. However, he said the group was now in a process aimed at resolving a dispute with the HSE over whether it actually was in compliance with Government pay policy.
Prof Whelan told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee that he hoped this process would be completed by March 21st.
He told the committee yesterday that in future, the salary of its group chief executive would be paid entirely from funds generated from the private hospital and that the role of group chief executive and the chief executive of publicly funded St Vincent’s University Hospital would be separated and not occupied by the same person.
Just before Christmas, the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group said that its chief executive, Nicholas Jermyn, was receiving a package of more than €292,000 a year. It said this was made up of €136,282 from the public sector and €136,951 from the private sector, as well as a privately funded car allowance of €19,796.
The group’s director of finance, Cormac Maloney, earned €140,876, including a privately funded payment of €32,544. Director of nursing Mary Duff received €96,405, including a privately funded payment of €14,853.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health James Reilly said yesterday it was “unsustainable” for St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to have the same chief executive for both its public and private hospitals.
At an Oireachtas committee, Dr Reilly said the HSE was in the process of addressing issues such as top-up payments for staff and governance issues at the organisation.
“There is only one hospital where the CEO is both the CEO of a public and private hospital,” Dr Reilly told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children. “I believe that to be a conflict of interest and to be unsustainable.”
Mr Jermyn on a number of occasions yesterday declined to answer questions put to him by the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness on whether he would retain a salary of close to €300,000 if he relinquished his existing role in St Vincent’s University Hospital.
Mr Jermyn said the issue of the salary of the group chief executive was one for the board of the organisation. He said in the future he would not receive any remuneration from the public sector.