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National Screening Service reported financial surplus for first half of 2019

By Paul Mulholland - 01st Nov 2019

The National Screening Service (NSS) reported  an overall surplus (€0.9 million) for June 2019, according to the Executive’s latest performance report.

The Performance Profile April – June 2019 Quarterly Report, which was recently published, stated the surplus relates to reduced laboratory and professional services costs. “Professional services have a surplus of €2.5 million mainly relating to the CervicalCheck backlog,” according to the report.

“A contractor has now been appointed and the backlog will be dealt with in the coming months.”

The NSS provides population-based screening programmes for BreastCheck, CervicalCheck, BowelScreen, and Diabetic RetinaScreen.

Meanwhile, the HSE budget associated with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) showed a deficit of €700,000 for the first six months of the year. The report states that the ‘EU schemes’ annual budget is €2.2 million greater than the 2018 budget. However, it points out that this is still less than the 2018 full year spend.

“EU schemes are showing a deficit of €0.7 million for June 2019 YTD [year-to-date], €2.2 million of this relates to non-pay and an income surplus of €1.5 million,” according to the report.

The EHIC is used for instances where a person is travelling to another EU State. If an Irish citizen falls ill or is injured during such a trip the EHIC will cover any necessary care they might need.

“Due to the demand-led nature of these schemes it is extremely difficult to predict expenditure accurately,” the report states.

The report also shows that the Chief Clinical Officer has expenditure of €24.4 million against a budget of €26.7 million leading to a “positive variance” of €2.3 million. This represents a variance of 8.8 per cent, which is representative of the timing of service initiatives in the year.

The report underlines the financial difficulties being faced by the HSE, which showed an income and expenditure deficit of €199.9 million for the first six months of the year. This represents 2.6 per cent of the total available budget.

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