15 October 2009 Edition

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HSE Board approves massive bonuses while patients suffer cutbacks

HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm

HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm

SINN FÉIN Dáil leader and Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as “nauseating” the decision of the Board of the Health Services Executive (HSE) to approve a €70,000 bonus payment for HSE Chief Executive Brendan Drumm.
Speaking as the details of the HSE decision emerged on Wednesday Ó Caoláin said: “It is no wonder that Health Minister Harney and HSE Chief Brendan Drumm have made decisions to impose cutbacks which cause patients to suffer throughout our health services. The very existence of massive bonuses for top executives who are already paid the highest salaries in the public service, let alone the approval for such bonuses in the present economic crisis, shows that these people are totally divorced from the everyday reality of ordinary citizens.
“It is nauseating that the HSE Board should approve this bonus for the year 2007. It was in the autumn of that year that the current regime of health cutbacks was first imposed.
“Contrast these bonuses with such heartless cuts as the slashing of home support hours for children with autism. Contrast them with the fact revealed yesterday that children with arthritis must wait up to 13 months to see the State’s only paediatric rheumatologist in Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
“This system of bonuses should be ended. More importantly, Minister Harney and her Cabinet colleagues, along with their disastrous health policies and disastrous management of our health services, should be turfed out.”

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