Saturday 19 April 2014

System must change -- mayor on four 'top-up' boards

DUBLIN Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn is on the boards of four hospitals which pay 'top-ups' to senior managers -- but revealed he is only obliged to attend one meeting a year.

Mr Quinn is on the boards of the Coombe, Rotunda, the National Maternity Hospital and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

He said that the system where he is an automatic ex-officio member of hospital boards by virtue of holding office should be changed.

His comments come in the wake of major questions being asked about the membership and oversight of the boards of voluntary hospitals and agencies in the wake of the 'top-ups' controversy.

"The fact I am automatically on these boards shows the need for us to re-examine and reform the corporate governance structures in a lot of these organisations.

"Some will have charters designed for an older period of time. Now it is the public which use their services and largely fund them. The public demands modern governance structures."

He said it was time to look again at automatically including the Lord Mayor or the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who is automatically the chairman of the National Maternity Hospital.

He said there were a variety of different groups who should be on boards, including patient groups.

Meanwhile, Dublin City Council said that it gave the Central Remedial Clinic €700,000 in 2006 following "negotiations" between the local authority and management at the clinic.

Councillor Gerry Breen said he and other councillors were not involved in these negotiations. "The proposal came from the CRC when a local swimming pool attached to St Paul's Secondary School was closed after it was purchased by a developer.

"As a councillor, I was not assured with the clarifications given by the city council officials at the time and was concerned about the initiative."

Following negotiations between city council officials, councillors and CRC management, it was agreed to pay 75pc of the total cost of refurbishment works, which amounted to €700,578.

Irish Independent

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