Friday 15 December 2017

HSE plans banking revamp with 'just-in-time' funding

Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly
Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

THE Health Service Executive (HSE) wants to improve its banking controls to facilitate a "just-in-time" approach to funding.

It wants to reduce the stockpiling of funding in HSE bank accounts, which occurs because the health service is not allowed to run a deficit.

To do this it has set out a series of banking goals that will give its corporate department greater access into and control over its bank accounts.

In documents seen by the Irish Independent, the HSE said it wants to be able to observe the balances in each HSE bank account before authorising transfers.

It also wants to be able to make instant money transfers from the HSE's corporate division to other HSE divisions where the risk of an overdrawn balance arises.

These elements, the HSE said, will help to create a "just-in-time" system for funding day-to-day healthcare expenses.

TRACKING

The world-famous "just-in-time" model, commonly applied to stock management, reduces the need for reserves by carefully tracking and managing resources.

Despite this, the HSE still plans to expand its network of bank accounts; it currently has just 25 public bank accounts catering for the entire organisation but it wants to introduce at least one account for each "discreet financial system area".

It is currently seeking bids for a three-year banking contract to meet these goals.

It needs a flexible banking service, HSE documents said, because the health service's structures are set to change over the coming years.

The organisation responsible for dispersing the country's healthcare funding also wants to improve its payment systems.

Despite looming SEPA deadlines and a government-directed push to reduce the use of cheques, HSE documents note cheque usage is still high within the organisation, particularly for the settlement of invoices.

Irish Independent

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