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Financial concerns raised over draft HSE service plan

By David Lynch - 07th Feb 2023

Concerns over the “financial challenges” facing the health service this year should be included in the new HSE National Service Plan 2023 (NSP 2023), an Executive meeting heard in November.

At the 8 November meeting of the HSE performance and delivery committee, the second draft of the NSP 2023 was discussed.

Committee members “expressed concern on the financial challenges outlined” by the Chief Strategy Officer Mr Dean Sullivan and the Interim Chief Financial Officer Ms Mairead Dolan who both spoke at the meeting, minutes state.

The committee “recommended the financial challenges are specifically included as risks and issues within NSP 2023”.

According to minutes, Ms Dolan told the meeting that “the NSP identifies a number of areas of risk where it has not been possible to provide for financially in 2023 as these areas collectively are beyond the normal level of financial risk that is managed in any given year, and that each of these areas will require careful monitoring and management during 2023 by HSE and the Department of Health.”

In relation to recruitment, Mr Sullivan told the meeting that the “risks that were noted in NSP 2022, related to the domestic and international market supply, Covid-19 environment and an increase in turnover, continue to exist as we enter into 2023”.

The “cost of living” was also highlighted as a challenge for recruitment at the meeting. 

As of 7 February, the new NSP has yet to be published. A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent that “the Department of Health and the Minister have shared observations on the NSP submitted by the HSE”.

“The HSE is now in a process of reviewing these observations and updating the service plan in the light of them. A further version will then be submitted to the Minister and his Department and we would hope to publish it shortly thereafter.”

Last year, the 2022 service plan was published at the beginning of March.

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