Sunday 23 April 2017

HSE forced to pay for conference over a lack of sponsors

Tony O’Brien, HSE director general. Photo: Tom Burke
Tony O’Brien, HSE director general. Photo: Tom Burke
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

The HSE has been forced to raid €140,000 from its own funding to pay for a controversial annual management conference, after failing to get enough sponsors.

It recently emerged that promotional material, which has since been withdrawn, offered 'facetime' with HSE buyers to sponsors of this year's 'masterclass' conference.

However, the HSE has now revealed the cost of the conference for each of the three years it has been staged has amounted to €212,000 annually.

But the level of sponsorship has never covered the full expense - hence the need for a bailout.

It has left the HSE digging into its own funds to the tune of €140,000. It could rise to nearly €200,000 without enough sponsorship for next month's conference in the Convention Centre.

The event is attended by about 800 managers from the health service and the wider business community, including executives from highly profitable private companies who get free tickets, worth around €695, in return for sponsorship.

The promotional material offering 'facetime' to sponsors with HSE executives who award lucrative contracts for services was withdrawn amid concerns over a potential of conflict of interest.

Irish Independent

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