HSE’s top earner earned €600k salary last year

HSE’s top earner earned €600k salary last year

By Gordon Deegan

The top paid individual in the Health Service Executive received a salary, last year, of almost €600,000.

The person earned more than three times the annual salary of €185,000 enjoyed by both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the HSE’s director general Tony O’Brien.

The overall spend at the HSE last year amounted to €14.57bn, a rise of 5%.

The total pay bill last year increased by 4% from €4.9bn to €5.1bn.

During 2016, numbers employed by the HSE increased from 107,275 to 110,258.

Pay to key management personnel at the HSE, made up of the directorate, last year totalled €1.23m — down from the €1.42m paid out in 2015.

The accounts also reveal the spend on lump sum pension payments to those retiring last year totalled €108.3m, a 9% rise on the €99.58m paid out in 2015.

The spend on agency staff also increased by 7%, increasing from €259.29m to €277.33m while the HSE’s overtime bill increased by 16.5% from €127.74m to €148.9m.

Under ‘pay’, the HSE’s ‘night-time’ allowance bill increased by €10m to €73m while the spend on ‘weekend’ allowances declined from €164m to €160m.

Elsewhere, the accounts show that the HSE’s spend on legal and professional fees increased by 28.6% going from €47m to €60.5m.

In his report on the annual accounts, Comptroller and Auditor General, Seamus McCarthy states that his audit “identified a significant level of non-competitive procurement that is consistent with the findings in previous years”.

He said: “There was a lack of evidence of competitive procurement in relation to 49% by value of the sample of payments examined at five locations in the HSE. The total value of the sample was €30.8m.”

In his comment, in the report, on the issue, HSE chief Mr O’Brien states: “The scale and complexity of the HSE’s overall procurement activity is such that it will take a sustained focus over a number of years in order to achieve high levels of adherence to procurement rules. This is an important objective for the HSE.”

One other staff member received a salary in excess of €550,000, and that was to another unnamed individual who received between €560,000 and €570,000.

No employee at the HSE had earned in excess of €550,000 in 2015.

Last year, nine HSE staff members received pay between €300,000 and €370,000.

In total, 2,243 HSE workers last year received over €100,000 in pay, compared to 2,124 in that earning bracket in 2015 — a rise of 119.

The majority of the high earners are medical consultants, although no breakdown is provided between consultants and others.

Details, however, do show 24 staff received between €250,000 and €300,000 while 207 staff were in receipt of salaries between €200,000 and €250,000. A further 1,070 earned between €150,000 and €200,000 and 931 between €100,000 and €150,000.

A HSE spokeswoman said the renumeration “includes additional payments such as overtime, allowances, arrears, rest day payments.”

This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner

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