Friday 23 August 2019

HSE approved €330,000 payment to hospital consultant

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Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A medical consultant in one of the country's major hospitals was paid more than €330,000 in public funds last year.

The full-time senior specialist, who works in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, was the hospital's top earner.

The revelation comes as some of the country's hospital consultants have come under the spotlight in recent days for treating too many private patients.

The payment to the Beaumont Hospital consultant, which did not include any private fees, included their salary and arrears, according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.

She said it included a one-off payment of arrears relating to a contractual adjudication for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 inclusive.

The arrears of circa €130,000 were a combination of basic pay, on-call pay and allowances dating back to the doctor starting work at the hospital.

"This change of contract and remuneration was fully approved by HSE and is compliant with national pay scales," she said.

Some 25 staff at the hospital earned more than €200,000 last year, all of whom were consultants.

Meanwhile, the human resources division of the HSE said it had been in communication with Beaumont Hospital about compliance with public pay policy in relation to 20 top-up allowances to a range of non-medical staff grades.

The total cost of the allowances came to €132,485 and they were disclosed to the HSE, the hospital's annual report revealed.

Some 15 cases related to a team-leader allowance. This was personal to the member of staff and will not be given to their successor.

Three cases involved the allowances which employees held when they were transferred from another part of the health service.

Two more staff were on acting allowances and these have since been deemed to be non-compliant.

The HSE spokeswoman said it should be noted that at all times the hospital has a statutory obligation to honour contractual agreements with staff.

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland Hospital Group, which includes Beaumont Hospital, did not respond to questions from the Irish Independent asking for a breakdown of its public and private ratio of patients.

Irish Independent

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