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HSE examining €39m deficit – CEO

The HSE is “working through” potential measures to account for €39 million in acute hospital activity in the national service plan, for which funding has not been identified, the Executive’s CEO has told the Medical Independent (MI).

The National Service Plan 2020 stated that “the budget that is available and will issue to hospitals is estimated to be €39 million below what is required to fund the activity levels as currently set out in the plan”.

“The legislation is clear in its requirement for the HSE to set out a service plan that shows the type and volume of service activity that can be delivered for the funding provided.”

Speaking to MI at a recent event in the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Cappagh, Mr Paul Reid noted that this figure was from an overall budget of €17 billion.

“It has to be found, not necessarily just in the acutes, but we’ll look at a range of savings,” he added.

Mr Paul Reid

The €39 million figure may have since reduced, “because we actually, believe it or not, brought forward a surplus this year in terms of our outturn.”

“We are still working through what measures we can take that would give us the equivalent of €39 million in savings.”

Meanwhile, Mr Reid said the HSE was not working on a plan to reconfigure emergency departments (EDs) in advance of any potential policy decisions. Recently, Mr Reid said there should be fewer EDs.

“No we are not currently drawing up a plan, to be frank,” he told MI.

However, from an operational perspective, “we are too stretched across all services across a wide range of hospitals,” he said.

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