Sunday 27 May 2018

HSE must be accountable for payments

Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

THE revelations about salary top-ups paid to well-remunerated doctors and senior health executives need to be accounted for by the hospitals and agencies involved.

It is no longer defensible to deal behind closed doors with the HSE, when these institutions are funded by the taxpayer.

The majority rely on public fundraising, and this leads to an outpouring of generosity from people who want to provide what support they can, to help with the running of services at a time of HSE cutbacks.

Many of these top-ups have been in place for years and were added to during the boom years when expectations on executive remuneration reached new levels.

The surprise is that so many of them are still in place. But the Department of Health is now adamant that the era of private top-ups must end, with anyone who wants to hold on to them having to make a case.

The agencies which have yet to confirm compliance with the pay rules have not been named. It is likely they are caught up in contractual issues, and several are expected to make a case for the retention of the allowances.

However, it may be difficult to justify them to members of the public who are having to dig deep into their pockets to continue giving to charity. Public perception and trust is everything when it comes to these public appeals.

Irish Independent

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