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Friday 13 December 2019

Maternity chief's €45k payout still being probed

Eilish O'Regan and Philip Ryan

THE €45,000 payment received by the master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr Rhona Mahony remains under investigation.

Dr Mahony was listed as getting the €45,000 privately funded allowance in the original audit of "top-ups" paid to senior managers in a range of HSE-funded voluntary hospitals and agencies.

She later issued a statement saying the €45,000 was generated by private fees from seeing insured patients and she felt "vilified" by the media coverage.

The National Maternity Hospital did not make a business case to the HSE earlier this year to pay Dr Mahony the money, and confined the applications for top-up allowances ranging from €30,000 to €39,000 to three senior managers. However, yesterday the HSE said the payment to Dr Mahony remains part of a separate process.

A spokeswoman said following a meeting with senior members of the Holles Street Maternity Hospital, it was decided that the situation would be dealt with under a separate review .

"This was decided on the basis of the conflicting views as to the nature of the payment to the master. This review is ongoing and Holles Street are co-operating on this matter," she said.

A spokesman for Holles Street yesterday declined to comment.

Dr Mahony made her only public statement on the payment in November when she said her remuneration "as master is strictly in line with the contract I have with the National Maternity Hospital and is exactly in compliance with public service pay requirements for my position".

Fine Gael TD Simon Harris yesterday questioned why Dr Mahony was being treated differently from the other 200 employees who received additional allowances: "We need clarity from the HSE as to why there is a separate process for one individual and not others."

Irish Independent

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