Mater Hospital warns of financial challenges as losses mount

Dublin hospital says it will be difficult to achieve a break-even position in 2017

Turnover for the Mater rose to €300.8 million in 2016, versus €297.3 million a year earlier

Turnover for the Mater rose to €300.8 million in 2016, versus €297.3 million a year earlier


The Mater Hospital in Dublin has warned it faces a challenge in maintaining current activity levels and to achieve a breakeven position this year.

The warning comes as the company which runs the hospital said it expects its accumulated deficit to rise to €13.8 million in 2017.

New accounts filed for Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, show the allocation it receives from the Health Service Executive (HSE) rose by just 0.4 per cent in 2016 to €245.5 million.

“This revenue allocation presents a challenge to management for 2017,” directors said. “Cost containment measures have been actioned by management and discussions are ongoing with the HSE and the Ireland East Hospital Group to ensure that a breakeven position for 2017 can be achieved. This represents a material uncertainty,” they added.

The hospital said its accumulated deficit at the end of last year totalled €11.01 million.

Turnover for the Mater, which has approximately 600 beds (including day care beds), rose to €300.8 million in 2016, versus €297.3 million a year earlier.

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A breakdown of turnover shows it received €244 million in revenue grants (once adjustments are subtracted) and a further €51 million from ‘other income’.

Costs jumped from €294.4 million to €300.8 million last year with employee-related expenditure rising to €195.7 million from €192.9 million. The Mater employed 2,816 employees last year, up from 2,747 in 2016.

The hospital said it treated 22,105 inpatients and 60,588 days cases, which it said was significantly in excess of the HSE service level agreement.

“The clinical value of the company’s inpatient and day care activity for 2016 was €8.8 million higher than its financial cost when benchmarked nationally,” the company said, outlining the efficiency level of the hospital.

The accounts show 64,457 patients were treated in the emergency department, a 9 per cent increase on the prior year.

Separate accounts filed for the Children’s University Hospital in Temple Street Dublin, which is run as a subsidiary of the Mater, show turnover rose to €111 million last year from €105.7 million in 2016.

The HSE revenue allocation before adjustments amounted to €94.6 million. This marks a 2.5 per cent increase from the €92.3 million allocation recorded a year earlier.

“While such an increase is to be welcomed, it primarily related to, and was matched by, increases in costs arising regarding approved service developments and other specific cost pressures and challenges,” the hospital said.

Costs for the hospital, which employed an average of 1,055 people in 2016, rose to €111.4 million from €105 million with staff-related expenditure increasing to €77.4 million from €73.5 million.

The Children’s University Hospital had an accumulated deficit of €884,000 at the end of the year.