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Old HSE board clocked up €1.2m in fees over five years

The last board of the Health Service Executive (HSE) clocked up a bill of €1.2m during its five-year tenure before it was dispensed with last month, it was learned yesterday.

The board voluntarily stood down after Health Minister James Reilly said he believed the health service would be run more efficiently without the outside nominees from fields of business and the legal world.

The figures, made up of fees and allowances since 2005, emerged as Dr Reilly announced a new line-up for the board yesterday made up mostly of HSE executives and Department of Health officials.

Dr Reilly said the new interim board would help run the health service "with greater emphasis on service delivery, more integration and less duplication".

Businessman Frank Dolphin, who was reappointed chairman, is entitled to a fee of €29,888 a year for his work. The other new members are barred from drawing their €14,963 allow-ance under civil service rules.

Members of the board also include HSE chief Cathal Magee, Department of Health secretary general Michael Scanlon and the HSE national director in charge of re-organising work systems to reduce waiting lists, Barry White.

It also includes Dr Philip Crowley, an HSE national director responsible for patient safety, and Bairbre Nic Aongusa, an HSE director over disability and mental health.

Meanwhile, figures obtained by the Irish Independent show the allowances and expenses paid to the old board -- which saw a number of changes in membership since it began in 2005 -- amounted to over €200,000 a year .

They were all nominated by former Health Minister Mary Harney but little is known of what role the members of the board, who met behind closed doors, played in steering the HSE during a series of controversies.

Irish Independent