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Six HSE staff earned over €500,000 last year, as accounts show €40m of PPE and hand gel due to expire before it can be used

  • One consultant doctor earned more than €750,000
  • Number of staff earning over €500,000 doubled from three to six
  • Chief executive Paul Reid’s package amounted to €430,000
  • HSE exploring whether expired PPE can be donated to other countries


HSE chief executive Paul Reid. Photo: Colin Keegan

HSE chief executive Paul Reid. Photo: Colin Keegan

HSE chief executive Paul Reid. Photo: Colin Keegan

Six HSE staff earned over €500,000 last year, with one person taking home more than €750,000, the HSE’s annual report reveals today.

The payments include basic salary and can also cover allowances, overtime, night duty and arrears.

The six earning more than €500,000 is up on three earning over this amount the previous year.

It is understood the six are hospital consultants, while another ten employees received over €400,000.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid earned €430,399. This includes basic pay of €363,915, allowances of €49,127 and benefit and kind €17,298, in the form of a company car.

His expenses for the year came to €4,320.

The report said it did a detailed review of all employees whose earnings were in the pay band of €300,000 and higher. It said “all of the employees who were within the scope of the assurance work are HSE consultant clinicians”.

The internal audit review identified some instances in which payments made to consultants were inconsistent with policy.

The review identified potential internal control gaps around payments made to these consultants under local hospital arrangements.

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It found potential weakness in the operation of controls in payroll particularly local payroll operations.

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The report also highlights losses related to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight the pandemic.

A continued drop in the replacement value of PPE resulted in an impairment charge of more than €70m at the end of 2021 under accounting rules, with PPE held at the end of the year now valued at €73.4m.

The value of PPE and hand sanitising gel going obsolete in the coming year was put at €38.3m, €25.6m of which was hand sanitiser which the HSE expects to pass its expiry date before it can be used.

The provision comprises €10.9m related to stock of around 5.1m bottles of gel purchased in 2021, and €14.7 m related to stock of around 6.8 m bottles of hand gel purchased in 2020 that are still unused, the accounts state.

PPE held at the end of 2021 which is expected to expire before it can be used has also been valued at €12.7m.

The items of PPE recognised as obsolete comprise protective goggles, face shields, aprons, protective suits and masks. All of the items were purchased in 2020 at an estimated cost of €96.4 million. The products were already subject to price impairment charged in the 2020 financial statements of €83.7m.

The HSE is considering whether the PPE items can be donated to the health systems in other countries.

The 2020 financial statements included a provision for obsolescence to the value of €64 m in respect of around 2.5 mprotective suits that were purchased in 2020 but were unlikely to be used before expiry. The Health Service Executive has not yet decided on how to dispose of these suits and continues to incur storage costs. The cost in 2021 of storing the obsolete suits is estimated at around €1.25m.

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