I've been vilified, says maternity hospital boss
THE master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, has claimed she has been "personally vilified" in recent days and said she has not received any top-up allowance.
Dr Mahony said her €45,000 that is listed as a "privately funded allowance" in a Department of Health document is income which is generated from professional fees for treating private patients. "My remuneration as master is strictly in line with the contract I have with the National Maternity Hospital," she added.
Dr Mahony broke her silence yesterday after refusing media requests over several days to clarify the details around the €45,000 payment.
It is listed in the Department of Health document compiled in May and is based on information supplied by the National Maternity Hospital to the HSE – which was conducting a review of the remuneration paid by agencies to their senior management.
However, Dr Mahony's statement made no reference to the top-up allowances which the department states were paid to other managers at the hospital.
The department said that the secretary manager of the hospital who was on a state salary of €110,000 in May was getting a privately funded allowance of €39,000. The director of nursing who was on a salary of €80,180 was receiving a privately funded allowance of €37,500.
The spokesman who issued a statement on behalf of Dr Mahony would not comment on whether these privately funded allowances are still being paid.
A statement from the hospital board said that the "National Maternity Hospital remunerates its personnel in accordance with their employment terms, with the agreement of the appropriate board subcommittees and in full compliance with public service pay requirements".
It said money generated from fundraising, donations or the hospital's foundation was not used to finance payments and added all this was invested in medical equipment.
But it did not clarify how privately funded allowances were financed.
The board of the National Maternity Hospital said it acknowledged the need for Dr Mahony to issue a personal statement.
A spokesman for Sam Coulter-Smith, master of the Rotunda Hospital who is listed as receiving a privately funded allowance of €30,000, could not elaborate other than to say the hospital does not use fundraising income for any pay top-ups.
The HSE has written to all the agencies and hospitals which it funds, asking if they are compliant with public pay policy – which bans any private top-ups for managers on a state salary.
Health Minister Dr James Reilly is to receive a report of the assessment of the responses.
Eilish O'Regan, Health Correspondent