KERRY General Hospital was €1.7 million over budget by the end of June according to new figures published this week.
The hospital, the second largest acute hospital controlled by the HSE South, has a budget of €68.84 million for 2012. Figures for the first half of the year show that at the end of June Kerry General Hospital had a budget overspend of €1.73 million. This comes on top of an overspend of €1.5 million that was carried over from 2011.
This year the hospital saw its annual budget slashed by €2.47 million falling from €71.3 million to €68.84 million. Financial pressures on the hospital have been compounded by the non payment of bills by some patients and their insurers. At the end of June KGH was owed €7.28 million and according to the figures released this week €2.93 million of this remains unpaid.
While the hospital's budget has been reduced this year the number of people attending KGH has increased by a significant margin.
In the first six months of the year presentations at the hospital's Emergency Department rose by 15.5 per cent from 15,881 to 18,344. Meanwhile general admissions to the hospital increased by 8.3 per cent going from 5,204 in the first six months of 2011 to 5,637 in the same period this year.
In the period covered by the figures the hospital had an average absentee rate of 5.25 per cent.
The INMO, the union which represents nurses and midwives, defended the rate of staff absenteeism at Kerry General Hospital stating that while the union condemns people who take sick leave when they are not ill the figures do not show exactly why staff may be absent.
The INMO's Michael Dineen also noted that staff are doing more in the health service with fewer resources and less money.