Tuesday 18 December 2018

HSE overtime bill soars to €5m a week

The health service overtime bill now stands at more than €5m a week — with one doctor topping up his basic pay by €66,000. (Stock image)
The health service overtime bill now stands at more than €5m a week — with one doctor topping up his basic pay by €66,000. (Stock image)

Mark O'Regan

The health service overtime bill now stands at more than €5m a week - with one doctor topping up his basic pay by €66,000.

Record-level spending comes as the Department of Health is allocated a total budget of almost €15.3bn for next year - the largest in the history of the State.

Now, internal accounts show huge add-on payments continue to be garnered by some high-earning medics. This is often fuelled by ongoing staff shortages. It means huge sums are still being paid to this elite group on top of their basic pay.

Extra hours worked by a range of medics cost €60m in the first three months of the year, new figures secured by the Sunday Independent reveal.

Last year, the overall overtime bill totalled €235m, up from €220m in 2015.

In 2014, €200m was ring-fenced for spending under this heading by the HSE.

But for the first three months of 2017 the bill has escalated to €60m, an average of €5m a week. Records reveal a senior house officer in psychiatry has topped the overtime league table so far this year, taking home an additional €66,025.

Eight registrars shared an overtime payout of €454,665, while a clinical nurse manager in mental health pocketed an additional €54,116.

Sunday Independent

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