Tuesday 28 February 2017

Watershed moment for controversial public sector top-ups

CRC pay levels stink, but so do those in a host of taxpayer-funded institutions, says Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

Master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr. Rhona Mahony.
Master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr. Rhona Mahony.

As the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) continues its investigations into the embattled Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), attention is now beginning to drift toward those other voluntary hospitals that are in breach of government pay rules.

Come next Friday, some of the country's most prominent medical chiefs including Dr Rhona Mahony of the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, and Dr Sam Coulter Smith of the Rotunda Hospitals will have to prove their institutions are compliant or risk having their funding cut.

Under Section 38 of the Health Act 2004, which includes both health agencies and voluntary hospitals, such bodies "may not supplement approved rates of remuneration with either Exchequer funding or non-government sources of funding". According to the Health Service Executive's damning internal audit report, just seven of 42 voluntary hospitals who last year between them received €2.6bn in taxpayers' money are abiding by the rules. Just seven!

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