My blood is boiling at hospital's 50c water charge

J I HAD to read the report a number of times to make sure it wasn't a joke.

Staff at my local hospital – Kerry General – are charged 50c for every cup of boiling water when they want to make a cup of tea in their canteen.

This, as it emerged that senior management at the country's hospitals are having their pensions topped up by taxpayer monies.

Like the pricey water, my blood was boiling.

It's times like this that I shake my head in bewilderment and wonder what planet I am on.

The whole story of HSE top-up payments sickens me – as I'm sure it does many others.


A HSE audit of 44 hospitals and disability organisations has shown that more than half are paying some form of top-up to senior staff – some privately funded, with others financed from the public purse.

Some €4.1m of allowances are paid yearly to 225 senior health bosses.

In 29 instances the taxpayer is funding the pension pots of senior hospital managers.

In one instance, at Crumlin Children's Hospital, a top-up of €30,000 was being part paid from the sweet shops on campus to the chief executive.

These outrageous details came to light just days before the HSE service (read: cuts) plan for 2014 was handed to Health Minister James Reilly. The sad backdrop to all this is that thousands of pensioners, terminally ill patients and intellectually disabled children are currently running the risk of losing their medical cards.

All the while waiting lists grow.

This situation is proof, if it were needed, of what a shambles of a system we have in the HSE.

The less you have to do with our health system the better – unless you're a senior manager, of course.