Government may increase pay for new HSE chief by a further €50,000

Ministers are considering a salary of about €300,000 a year in a bid to fill the position

The Government may be prepared to pay a salary of about €300,000 as it seeks to find a chief executive to run the Health Service Executive .

The post of HSE director general/chief executive was advertised for a second time by the Government on Friday. The closing date for applications is January 10th.

A previous recruitment campaign earlier this year failed to find a successor to outgoing HSE chief Tony O’Brien who stepped down last May.

The Government had agreed as part of the earlier recruitment campaign to increase the salary for the post to €250,000 – a rise of about €50,000.

However, informed sources said, in the light of the failure to find a successful candidate on the previous occasion, the salary may have to be increased again.

The new advertisement campaign does not specify a salary for the post. However, some Government sources said it could be in the region of €300,000 depending on the candidates who emerged from the new competition.

Health services sources maintained that salary issues and continuing controversy in the health service, particularly over CervicalCheck, were important factors in deterring many potential candidates in the UK from applying for the post on the previous occasion.

Scally report

The publication of the Scally report into the cervical screening controversy , in the middle of the recruitment campaign, was seen as unfortunate in terms of timing, sources indicated.

Mr O’Brien stepped down early last May at the height of the CervicalCheck controversy and the post was advertised the following month.

The new chief executive, when appointed, will operate under the direction of an independent board, under legislation currently before the Oireachtas.

Former National Health Service England board member and chief executive of the British Council Ciaran Devane was appointed chairman of this independent board in October. The Government has sought expressions of interest from others willing to serve as directors.

Two patient advocates will sit on the new HSE board.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent