University Hospital Galway fined €10k over waste dumping

University Hospital Galway.

University Hospital Galway was fined over €10,000 in a 14-month period by a waste management service for incorrectly dumping medical waste in recycling.

The fines were revealed in a HSE audit of waste management at the hospital which found that, due to “healthcare risk waste being found in recycled waste coming from an on-site compactor”, the contractor imposed fines of €112 per tonne for June 2015 and €102 from July 2015 to date.

The hospital had an agreement to pay just €38 per tonne for its recycled waste. However, the penalties meant the hospital was charged €150 per tonne for its waste in June 2015, and €140 from July 2015 onwards. Auditors noted the total costs of fines for a 14-month period was €10,025.

The internal audits outline a number of issues relating to different bodies in various parts of the country, including lack of tendering, lack of staff training, and risk of inaccurate payroll payments.

An audit of foster payments by Tusla in Galway found a number of shortcomings, including discrepancies in files in relation to dates of birth. In the case of one child, the birth date on file was incorrect by a year.

Regarding the Louth-based Autism Spectrum Disorder Initiatives Ltd, an audit showed it had spent €13,121 on solicitors’ fees for advice on the HSE’s own service arrangements, with management claiming they had a disagreement with the HSE in relation to reserves and the HSE’s wish to take back funding.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, given €41.3m in funding by the HSE between 2012 and 2015, had 63 bank accounts and 76 receipt books, with the process for consolidating the accounts of all 51 ASI areas seen as “unwieldy and prone to error”.

An internal audit into procurement and other matters at St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network in Dublin found a donation received from a patient of €1,000 was not entered into a HSE bank account. It was locked in a cabinet for safe keeping.

Elsewhere, the audit into the National Screening Service, which provides the Diabetic RetinaScreen service, found no evidence to support allegations of improprieties in the procurement process.


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