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Privateers determine health policy and health spending – Ó Caoláin

26 March, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Responding to revelations that HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm successfully lobbied Health Minister Mary Harney for massive pay rises to attract senior executives from the private sector, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhhgín Ó Caoláin said that the sums paid out were "grotesque and driven by greed".

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"It speaks volumes of the totally wrong priorities in Government and HSE management when the HSE Chief can successfully lobby the Minister to sanction a hike in already massive pay on offer under contracts for senior executives.

"High fliers are recruited on contracts of over €200,000 per year while people on the front line of healthcare services such as nurses have to cope with a recruitment embargo, tightening budgets for service delivery and now a public service pension levy.

"The HSE's National Director of Human Resources, Seán McGrath has stated that when the massive pay packages were agreed by the Minister in late 2007 there had been difficulty filling some top-level roles as ‘the market was at its peak’.

"Clearly, Minister Harney and the HSE are content to allow the private health market to determine the way our public health service is managed and funded. This is in line with the privatisation and centralisation agenda of Minister Harney and her Fianna Fáil and Green colleagues in Government." ENDS

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