€5m gap in funds puts patients’ care at risk

Patients at Kerry General Hospital face serious “clinical risks” to their care if the HSE fails to provide an extra €5m in funding this year.

€5m gap in funds puts patients’ care at risk

The head of the hospital made the claim amid concerns about an activity-based funding system brought in by the HSE to ensure hospitals are receiving the resources they need.

In response to a Dáil question by local Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil on whether this year’s funding for the hospital is “unrealistic”, KGH general manager Maria Godley said the fears are shared by hospital officials.

Ms Godley wrote that KGH faces a €5.6m shortfall this year and that, if the situation is not adequately addressed, it poses “significant clinical risks” to patients.

Mr Brassil said that the “alarming” situation means the hospital is facing bed closures, a reduction in medical care and a block on new staff.

“While nobody is going to die of this tomorrow, it is something that is a very serious issue,” he warned.

“In order to identify €5.6m in savings, the hospital needs to look at the service and identify post or non-pay [non-salary] items that can be removed from the projected spend.”

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