independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bailout for health of €200m for 2013 agreed

Minister for Health James Reilly
Minister for Health James Reilly

A bailout of just under €200m will be given to the Department of Health and HSE to cover the overrun in spending this year.

The Supplementary Estimate was signed off on with the Department of Public Expenditure today.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly had always insisted the additional funding for 2013 would be between €150m and €200m.

However, there was speculation it could creep above this mark.

The final figure will be just under the €200m mark.

The funding will appear on the Dail Order Paper this afternoon.

It will be briefly referred to in the Dail tomorrow and immediately referred to the Oireachtas health committee by the Government.

The committee will discuss the Supplementary Estimate at its meeting on Thursday.

Afterwards, it will be voted on in the Dail.

THE EU has warned the €200m spending overrun and the failure to deliver on key pledges could "endanger" next year's health budget.

Its team of inspectors warned in its final bailout review that one-third of the savings promised by Dr Reilly this year will not be achieved and that the slow progress could lead to serious problems next year.

It has also criticised the absence of any progress on legal service reforms to cut costs for consumers, as well as the potential for the courts to be overwhelmed by a "wave" of up to 21,500 repossession cases next year.

It comes as the Cabinet is due today to discuss a bailout for the health service so that it can cover the estimated €200m shortfall this year -- with another €666m of cuts due next year.

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