HSE spends over €17bn, ends year with surplus

HSE ended last year with an operating surplus, compared to a deficit the previous year

The Health Service Executive (HSE) ended the year with a €60 million net operating surplus despite current spending rising to €17.2 billion last year.

This compared to an operating deficit of more than €85m at the end of 2018.

Income totalled €17.3bn in 2019 including a €16,471,023m grant from the Department of Health, up from a grant of €15,221,624m in 2018.

Total capital expenditure in 2019 was €688m, including €603m for capital projects and €85m for ICT capital projects. This included capital grants to voluntary agencies of €325m.

The largest employer in the State, the HSE and section 38 agencies employed just under 120,000 whole time equivalents (WTEs), as at December 31.

Since 2018, overall staffing levels have increased by 1.7 per cent or 1,960 WTEs.

All staff categories, except general support (-0.4%/38 WTEs) showed growth in 2019 compared with 2018. The largest growth was seen in nursing.

Medical and dental staffing was the third highest staff category showing an increase, with an additional 390 WTEs, of which 154 WTEs were consultants, states the HSE annual report for 2019.

The HSE CEO received total remuneration of €264,314 comprising basic pay €224,359, allowances €30,288 and benefit in kind (company car) €9,667 for the period May 14, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

The CEO is not a member of the HSE Pension Scheme, and no employer pension contributions are made by the Executive on the behalf of the CEO. Consequently, the CEO receives an equivalent allowance, the report states.

More than 18,400 HSE employees earned over €60,000 in 2019, including basic pay, allowances, overtime, night duty, weekends, on-call, arrears and excluding employer Pay-Related Social Insurance, employer pension costs for the reporting period.

A total of 135 earned between €300,000 and €580,000.

It emerged in the report that the estimated liability incurred by the end of last year under the Clinical Indemnity Scheme and State indemnity was €3,302m compared to €2,792m in 2018.

Of this €3,302m, approximately €2,722m relates to active claims in respect of clinical care, with the balance of the estimated liability relating to non-clinical care claims, adds the HSE annual report.

Active claims are those that have been notified to the State Claims Agency through legal process and that have not yet concluded as at the reporting date.

The report outlined the total cost of the legal settlement between the State and medical consultants, arising from an alleged breach of contract in relation to the non-implementation of the 2008 Consultant Contract, was now estimated at €186m as at December 31, 2019.

The amount paid in 2019 was €85m (clinical pay). The estimated remaining liability due in 2020 is €101m.

valerie.ryan@imt.ie

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