Consultant in Limerick claimed for callout payments when not on duty

Incident recorded in examination of payments at University Hospital Limerick in 2014

The budget for the Limerick University Hospital in 2014 stood at €119.6 million with an actual expenditure of €138.4 million recorded

The budget for the Limerick University Hospital in 2014 stood at €119.6 million with an actual expenditure of €138.4 million recorded

 

A hospital consultant claimed for 17 days of callout payments on dates when the doctor was not on the roster for callout duty, a HSE audit has found.

The incident was recorded in an examination of payments made at University Hospital Limerick during 2014. In total, six consultants’ callout pay was examined.

Consultants are eligible for “compensatory payments” for the provision of on-call and callout work which are processed on the basis of individual calls where the doctor is “rostered for on-call duty and attends on site”. An annual limit of €22,300 applies in respect of such payments.

The audited claims were cross-checked with the consultants’ on-call diaries held within the hospital.

“The callout dates on three consultants’ claim forms corresponded with on-call duty recorded in the diary. Discrepancies were evident when the remainder were examined,” the audit noted.

Four claims were not certified while two consultants had claimed for callouts for one day on dates they were not on the roster for such duties. “One consultant had claimed for call-outs for 17 days on dates that the consultant was not recorded as rostered for on-call duty in the diary. This claim was certified,” it found.

In terms of total pay, the budget for the hospital in 2014 stood at €119.6 million with an actual expenditure of €138.4 million recorded. Overall, there was a high degree of accuracy in the salaries department, the report said, and the internal audit was satisfied with the system of controls.