‘Cynical’ hospital reveals top-up details

St Vincent’s Hospital Group has been accused of “cynical and scandalous” behaviour after waiting until last night to reveal its chief executive more than doubles his salary with privately funded top-ups.

The hospital published a letter at about 7.30pm last night which disclosed that its chief executive, Nicholas Jermyn, received a publicly funded salary of €136,282 and also received a private pay packet of €136,591 and a car allowance of €19,796.

The letter also said that SVHG’s director of finance gets a €32,544 private top up to a €108,332 salary and its director of nursing gets a €14,853 supplement to a HSE approved rate of €81,552. Four other staff members receive lesser top ups.

Public Accounts Committee chairman John McGuinness said St Vincent’s had refused to reveal specific details before now and the timing of the disclosure had left him “seething”.

“I think it is cynical on the side of St Vincent’s. St Vincent’s has withheld this for so long against all sorts of pressure and it has now released this on the eve of Christmas Eve,” he said.

“I can only assume it is a cynical attempt to hide the detail that three more people are now getting top-ups, which we did not know about before, and one person is getting an equal salary on top of his public salary and a private car allowance.”

Mr McGuinness said it will conduct a deep probe of the group in January.

Mr Jermyn’s arrangements were contained in a letter he sent to HSE director general Tony O’Brien, yesterday.

It said SVHG was responsible to its shareholders, the Sisters of Charity, and operated as both a public and private institution.

Mr Jermyn stated that its unique public-private structure led to a situation where he was responsible for both organisations.

His letter said the board of SVHG had approved the additional remuneration for key staff and they were funded from private income and not charitable sources. “The group is in a position to fund this remuneration as it has a source of private income from the operation of a private hospital,” he said.

In a statement last night, the HSE confirmed it received the letter and it has called a meeting with SVHG for Jan 6 to discuss its deemed non-compliance.

Earlier this year, the hospital pleaded with the HSE to bailout its unfunded pensions scheme after telling it directors feared they would been negligent if they allowed the company to trade with its growing deficit.

In a letter in June, Mr Jermyn said the hospital would have to make cutback backs in various areas.

Among the five items listed he identified 10 cases of bariatric surgery, which cost €10,800 each, and money spent on transitional care funding for 20 patients which costs €1,050 per week for every patient.

It received a [url=http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/hse-in-60m-pension-bailout-252629.html]€13m pension bailout in July.

Last week, Mr Jermyn wrote to the PAC and said all payments were in keeping with HSE policy and he did not disclose the details of the individuals involved.

In recent days SVHG also refused to released any details of its board minutes, its audit minutes or is discussions on pension deficits in response to a Freedom of Information request from the Irish Examiner.


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