Health funds wasted - Madness on a grand scale

WE need another example of public resources being wasted like we need falling leaves to tell us that winter is on the way.

But, almost inevitably, Government and the Health Service Executive oblige.

Today we report that Government delays increased the cost of a maternity hospital by 76%. A HSE audit has established that avoidable delays added €21.3 million to the final bill.

At the weekend president of the Hospital Consultants’ Association, Dr Margo Wrigley said that the HSE is dysfunctional and disconnected from those involved in delivering patient care. Though she did not refer to her members’ dual income stream – public and private – and that they were the best paid in Europe, she said the centralised system for managing the health service was cumbersome and quite simply not fit for purpose.

Two weeks ago the Comptroller and Auditor General reported that the HSE spent €44m last year on agency nurses to cope with the consequences of the employment embargo. The C&AG referred to a HSE audit which showed that agency staff exceed the cost of employing nurses by 36.5%. Yet internal HSE figures show that up to July of this year almost €70m has been spent on agency nurses, doctors and other health professionals.

Is it any wonder our reputation is in tatters?


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