Dublin doctor earned over €700,000 from HSE for treating medical-card patients

Six other doctors earned more than €600,000 for their practices in 2011

In total, the HSE paid about €2.5 billion to contractors – doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists – in 2011, representing about 20 per cent of its total spend. Fee cuts have seen reductions in payments for many professionals but this has been ameliorated by a rise in the number of people qualifying for medical cards.

In total, the HSE paid about €2.5 billion to contractors – doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists – in 2011, representing about 20 per cent of its total spend. Fee cuts have seen reductions in payments for many professionals but this has been ameliorated by a rise in the number of people qualifying for medical cards.

 


A Dublin family doctor has earned more than €700,000 from the HSE for treating patients subsidised by the State under the medical card schemes.

Dr Andrew Jordan, who runs practices in Tallaght and Terenure, was paid €729,485 for seeing medical and GP card patients and in practice supports in 2011, according to the HSE. Dr Jordan also topped the list of contractor payments in 2010, when he earned €846,517.

Six other doctors earned more than €600,000 for their practices in 2011, according to the latest figures published by the HSE yesterday. The second highest earner was Dr Catherine Coleman, who runs the Berkeley Street Clinic in Dublin’s north inner city, and was paid €671,599. Dr Anthony Crosby in Raheny, north Dublin, earned €662,335 and Dr Anthony Delap in Bunbeg, Co Donegal, was paid €640,178.


Contractors
In total, the HSE paid about €2.5 billion to contractors – doctors, dentists, opticians and pharmacists – in 2011, representing about 20 per cent of its total spend. Fee cuts have seen reductions in payments for many professionals but this has been ameliorated by a rise in the number of people qualifying for medical cards.

The figures quoted represent gross payments to practices, before the cost of premises and employing staff is deducted. The Irish Medical Organisation last night criticised the HSE’s practice of publishing the figures “in isolation” as “farcical”.

“It gives no account of the number of health professionals and support staff working in a practice, the volume of patients seen or the expenses incurred in operating a modern GP practice,” said Dr Ray Walley, chairman of the IMO’s GP committee, who was paid €348,251. “General practice in Ireland has been proved to be the most cost-effective element of the health services - as is the case internationally.”

Fine Gael TD
The list includes Fine Gael TD for Wexford Dr Liam Twomey, who is listed as having received €51,382. Former Fianna Fáil minister Jim McDaid, who retired from politics in late 2010, earned €195,639.

The highest earning dentist was Dr Shane Cadden in Castlebar, Co Mayo, who was paid €274,010 in 2011. He was followed by Dr Shane Barnes in Ballyfermot, with payments totalling €254,042. Eleven dentists were paid more than €200,000 in respect of their medical card patients.

“Significantly reduced payments to dentists reflect savage cuts in services to patients holding medical cards and explain the large rise in redundancies and practice closures,” said Fintan Hourihan, chief executive of the Irish Dental Association.

Eleven pharmacists were paid more than €600,000. The list here was topped by Akti Ltd in Dublin southwest, which earned €692,287. It was followed closely by the Hickey Pharmacy Group in north Dublin, which earned just €44 less.

A spokesman for the Irish Pharmacy Union said the figures were gross figures out of which pharmacists had to pay substantial operating costs, including staff, insurance, and premises. The figure also reflected a growing volume of dispensing under the medical card schemes as increased unemployment led to wider eligibility for medical cards.

The Specsavers chain of outlets accounted for eight of the 15 top-earning opticians. However, the list was headed by Patrick Flanagan of Homecall Opticalcare in Dublin, with earnings of €360,545.