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Wednesday 27 August 2014

HSE to quiz chairman over CEO's €300,000 salary

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 07/01/2014 | 02:30

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Nicholas Jermyn, CEO, of St.Vincent's University Hospital
Nicholas Jermyn, CEO of StVincent's University Hospital

THE chairman of a hospital group, whose chief executive is receiving a salary package of nearly €300,000, has been called to a meeting with the HSE later this week.

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It recently emerged that Nicholas Jermyn, who is boss of the St Vincent's Hospital Group, is getting a public salary of €136,282 and a privately funded payment of €136,951, along with a car allowance of €19,796.

He manages St Vincent's public and private hospitals as well as St Michael's Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, bringing his full package to €292,669.

The group's chairman, Professor Noel Whelan, and vice-chairman Stuart Harrington are to discuss the payments with HSE head Tony O'Brien at a meeting on Thursday.

Mr Jermyn is the country's best-paid hospital chief executive and one of seven staff in the group receiving extra income from private funds.

Neither he nor other executives getting the payments will be present at the meeting.

It comes in the wake of the salary top-ups controversy, which showed how many hospitals and disability agencies funded by the HSE were paying extra allowances to managers from public and charity funds.

Prof Whelen is a retired academic from the University of Limerick. He was professor of business and management, dean of the college of business, and vice-president of the university as well as maintaining external corporate involvement at chairman and non-executive director levels.

St Vincent's Healthcare Group said the extra payments were fully tax-compliant and did not involve any charitable donations, and were made to staff who worked in both public and private hospitals.

They were paid to reflect the "complex and multi-faceted nature" of the jobs being carried out, did not accrue any pension entitlements and were funded from private income.

"The group is in a position to fund this remuneration as it has a source of private income from the operation of a private hospital, St Vincent's Private Hospital," the letter sent to the HSE before Christmas said.

ADDITIONAL

Director of finance and company secretary Cormac Maloney, is paid €108,332 by the HSE plus an additional €32,544, while director of nursing Mary Duff receives €81,552 in public money plus an additional €14,853.

Three other staff members are also in receipt of top-ups totalling €28,211 a year, but their identity was not disclosed.

Members of the St Vincent's board and Mr Jermyn are to be asked to appear before the Dail Committee on Public Accounts next week. The committee is also to question Brian Conlan, who stepped down as chief executive of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) in early December.

The former board of the CRC decided to use charity funds last July to add a top-up of about €40,000 to the salary of Mr Conlan when he was appointed in July.

The HSE set the salary for Mr Conlan at about €83,000 -- which meant the board had to go back to its fundraising arm -- the Friends and Supporters of the Central Remedial Clinic -- for the difference.

After Mr Conlan asked that the salary be reduced to the HSE-recommended sum, it was cut to the publicly funded €83,000 from October 1.

All the hospitals and agencies are to be asked to sign a 'compliance' with public pay policy agreement with the HSE at the end of this month.

But this can entail making a case to the HSE and the Departments of Health and Public Expenditure to allow the top-up to continue.

Irish Independent

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