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Thursday 23 February 2017

HSE manager on leave after 'conflict' report

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

A senior Health Service Executive manager is on leave after an external report into allegations of a conflict of interest.

The HSE confirmed yesterday that Gerard Hurl, the national director of ICT, is on leave and his place has temporarily been taken by Fran Thompson.

A spokesperson for the HSE earlier confirmed it had commissioned an independent external investigation.

The investigation into an alleged conflict of interest has recently been completed and its findings are under review.

Mr Hurl is in charge of the HSE's €100m annual information technology budget. He was appointed to the €138,000-a-year position last year. The investigation arises out of his links with the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland.

An outside expert was asked to prepare a report on the alleged conflict of interest, following correspondence to the chairman of the HSE's audit committee PJ Fitzpatrick.

He told a HSE board meeting that an "external person had been engaged to examine the matter".

Informatics is concerned with understanding the impact technology has on people and the development of new uses for technology. The Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland was set up in the 1990s to support and develop the skills and knowledge base in informatics.

Mr Hurl is the chairman of the society, an honorary post elected by the membership at the organisation's agm. He is also on its executive committee.

The organisation's funding is derived from its membership and its annual conference and it is not involved in commercial activities. It receives sponsorship from a number of firms.

Irish Independent

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