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Where’s the accountability for HSE ‘top-ups’?

I love the term applied to the illicit “top-ups” paid secretly to senior hospital management, namely “compensation”. Would a term like misappropriation not be more fitting?

I am disappointed, too, given the dire state of the nation’s health resources, at the very muted tone of statements like “picture reveals a complex pattern of pay rates which evolved over years”. Evolved? Llike organic growth? More like a cancer. I am so angry. Apparently, “Auditors found at least 36 types of allowance and benefit... were being made by voluntary hospitals and agencies to managers from HSE funds at a cost of €3.224m”. Why has it taken until now to discover such behaviour? Are audits not carried out annually? And the HSE’s response? Dismissals? Fines? Repayments demanded? Oh no.! The HSE will continue to “allow agencies to make a case to retain non-standard allowances for five years”. Ah no lads, keep the money and sure keep paying yourselves way over the odds too. It’s not like the HSE is short of cash. Sure didn’t it lose €90m in the accounts somewhere. What makes it okay (apparently) is the fact that “the compensation does not involve any public funds, or any funds, from the foundation or other donated funds” it came instead from hospital tuck shops etc. It’s not enough that patients suffer for lack of funds but their visitors have to suffer too so that the top-heavy (mostly useless) suits get to be even richer.

Liam O’Mahony

Graiguenamanagh

Co Kilkenny


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