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End the culture of privilege at the top of the HSE - Adams

19 November, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on the Taoiseach to end the culture of privilege that exists at the top of the HSE and in Government which has led to senior executives in state-funded voluntary hospitals and health agencies breaching Government pay policy.
Speaking at Leaders Questions in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:
“The Master of the Rotunda Hospital received a package of more than €306,000. The Master of the National Maternity Hospital received a package of €281,892. The Chief Executive of the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) received a package of €242,865.
“This, when your Government has yet to provide funding for bilateral cochlear implants for profoundly deaf children and when ‘Tracheostomy babies’ in Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, who are well enough to go home can’t, because the HSE hasn’t sanctioned safe levels of homecare. Some of these children face their second Christmas in hospital.
“Meanwhile, the CEO of Crumlin Children's Hospital, on a salary of some €110,000 per year, is awarded a €30,000 top-up from the proceeds of the campus shop.
“At a time of savage cutbacks to disability services, with hard-pressed families forced to fundraise for vital supports for their children, surely these proceeds should be used for hospital services, rather than a top-up for very well-paid executives?”
Asking how long the Taoiseach and Minister for Health had been aware of the situation and what they intend to do about it, Mr Adams pointed to reports that the Department of Health was aware as far back as since 1998 that certain institutions had paid chief officers over and above HSE pay scale levels, through other resources.
Mr Adams said:
“We have more HSE top executives on salaries of over €100,000 per annum now than we did last year. Is it any wonder these breaches occur when your own Cabinet breaches the guidelines in the pay you award your special advisors?
“Taoiseach, isn’t the fundamental problem here that there remains a culture of privilege at the top of the HSE? And isn’t it the case that your government has fuelled such a culture of privilege through the actions of your Ministers in breaching pay guidelines at a time of severe hardship for most citizens?”

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