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Wednesday 24 January 2018

Eilish O'Regan: Scale of cash shortage shows frightening depth of the crisis

EILISH O'REGAN

WITH the appointment of Eilish Hardiman as chief executive in the summer of last year, Tallaght Hospital appeared to have turned the corner.

There are no longer patients on corridors and it has reduced its waiting times for surgery.

But the hospital continues to struggle with a major budget over-run from last year.

It is also being investigated by the Comptroller and Auditor General for an external payroll system it operated, which only came to light in May.

For five years up to 2010 it paid out €739,000 in top-ups to different senior staff.

And like all hospitals, Tallaght is having to cope with a rise in patients seeking treatment, while trying to meet targets to reduce waiting times for surgery.

The scale of the overdraft which it is now seeking just to maintain its services between now the the end of the year has shocked even the HSE which had to sign off for it at board level.

But there is a strong likelihood that other hospitals may be forced to take the same desperate measures.

Irish Independent

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