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Ex-HSE chief got €50,000 in holiday pay

Former HSE chief Brendan Drumm received a bonus of €70,000 and another €51,238 in lieu of holiday leave as part of his generous €420,000 farewell package last year, it was revealed last night.

Prof Drumm, who ended his five-year contract at the end of August, has since returned to an academic post in UCD where he is on a salary of more than €250,000.

Before he left, Prof Drumm is understood to have taken the €70,000 bonus which was at the centre of controversy the previous year as the Health Service Executive endured cuts.

The extent of the payments were revealed in the financial accounts of the HSE's annual report which was published yesterday evening.

The bonus, which related to 2007, was awarded to Prof Drumm by the board of the HSE in 2008 and it was unclear if he ever drew it down.

As news of the bonus drew outrage in 2009, Prof Drumm said he would take the money but would give it to charity.

The report showed that Prof Drumm, who was on a basic salary of €215,000, received €51,238 for annual leave he did not take during his five-year term.

The rest of his €420,000 also included, among other things, expenses of around €3,457, and a car allowance of €14,000, the report revealed.

New chief executive Cathal Magee, who took over last September, earned €97,000 for the last four months of 2010, a car allowance of €4,000 and pension entitlements of €27,000.

PJ Fitzpatrick, the current independent chairman of a new implementation body on the Croke Park agreement, claimed the highest expenses as a member of the HSE board at €3,635.

The HSE earned €11m in car parking fees levied on patients and visitors by its hospitals around the country and another €11m from A&E charges.

The report revealed that the number of complaints received about HSE services last year rose to 8,434 compared to 7,984 in 2009.

Complaints about delays and waiting times topped the list of grievances -- rising 21pc to 3,640. Complaints about treatment and service delivery fell to 2,240, a fall of 13pc.


Complaints about staff attitude and manner went up 4pc. There was an 86pc surge in gripes about infection control.

In his introduction to the report, Mr Magee admitted that five years after the creation of the HSE it still resembled a "federation of former autonomous entities", rather than a coherent single organisation.

While improvements had taken place, it has serious deficiencies, including management capabilities, he said. An "administrative culture" still prevailed, and this was reinforced by rigid public service control, leaving it "seriously out of line" with the demands it faced.

There were 3,533 fewer staff in the HSE at the end of 2010 compared to 2007. Although private patients in public hospitals should not exceed 20pc, they accounted for 23pc last year.

Irish Independent