Saturday 17 March 2018

Health overspend will be clawed back – Taoiseach

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

SPENDING overruns in the Department of Health will be brought under control without Health Minister James Reilly needing another bailout, Taoiseach Enda Kenny says.

The HSE financial report to the end of June to be published today will show a gross deficit of €63m. The core deficit when an end of year adjustment is made is €41m.

Dr Reilly himself raised the possibility of getting extra money. It could be the third time in three years the Department of Health would have to be given a supplementary estimate, but the Taoiseach insists this won't happen. He said the money can be clawed back by the HSE and hospitals in the coming months.

It comes as Dr Reilly prepares for a fresh round of cuts in next month's Budget.

"This time last year the over-run was over €150m. This year it is currently around €60m," Mr Kenny said. "The Minister for Health has made it perfectly clear that he expects that money to be recovered and is working very hard with the agencies and the department and the hospitals to see that happens."

Dr Reilly had suggested he may need extra money, but blamed the overspending on the high numbers of older people using health services.

Irish Independent

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