Irish News

Thursday 21 August 2014

New deal will allow hospital chief to keep €300,000 salary

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Published 11/01/2014 | 02:30

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Nicholas Jermyn will no longer take a public salary. Photo: Tom Burke
Nicholas Jermyn will no longer take a public salary. Photo: Tom Burke

THE chief executive of St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin looks set to remain the highest paid hospital boss in the country and hold on to his salary of nearly €300,000.

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A proposal emerged after a four-hour meeting of the board of the St Vincent's Healthcare Group yesterday after it came under pressure in the wake of the top-ups controversy.

Nicholas Jermyn, who is chief executive of St Vincent's public and private hospitals, as well as St Michael's Hospital in Dun Laoghaire -- all of which are part of the group -- earns a public salary of €136,282 and a private payment of €136,951 along with a car allowance of €19,000.

Under the proposal, Mr Jermyn will remain as a group chief executive but all his salary will be paid from the profits of St Vincent's private hospital. He will no longer take a public salary.

He will retain responsibility for St Vincent's public hospital even though he will not draw any salary from the State. The proposal will be put to the Health Service Executive (HSE) on Tuesday.

It will be a matter for the HSE to decide if it wants to put separate management in place in St Vincent's public hospital.

However, it would be expected to appoint a senior manager on a public salary who is accountable for its running and financial management.

The board of the hospital chaired by Prof Noel Whelan also considered the salary top-ups, paid from the profits of the private hospital, which are made to other senior staff.

TOP-UPS

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.

St Vincent's board has argued that all were paid to reflect the "complex and multi-faceted nature" of the jobs being carried out. They did not accrue any pension entitlements and were funded from private income and no charity donations are involved.

Mr Whelan and Mr Jermyn are due to appear before the Dail Committee on Public Accounts next Thursday where they will be quizzed about the scale of the top-ups.

The hospital will have to sign a compliance agreement with the HSE at the end of this month when it must make a case for the retention of any top-up.

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 an annual 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.

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

He agreed to return the unsanctioned amount he had already been paid.

Irish Independent

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