It averages out at more than €214,000 per consultant.
The sum does not include what consultants receive for treating patients admitted to hospital and does not cover the fees for outpatient clinics and private rooms. Factor these figures in and you will add several million to the bill.
The bulk of the consultants are also on public salaries averaging around €150,000. The majority of these consultants work in public hospitals. Their contracts allow them to treat private patients.
Therefore, we have a situation whereby private patients receive treatment in public hospitals using state equipment. Perhaps as a means of raising money, the health minister should consider leasing this equipment to the consultants.
ALMOST 6,000 patients have been on a waiting list for more than three years to see a consultant at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, new figures have revealed. Meanwhile, the Midwest Regional Hospital has the third highest rate of staff absenteeism in the country. Mary Fogarty, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, said that the “work environment at the Regional is not conducive to people who are not at the tip top of their health. “Work pressures make it difficult for someone deciding if they are well enough to be in work or to return,” she told the Limerick Post.
Upwards of 5,600 have waited more than three years just to see a consultant for an outpatient appointment at Croom.
Hospitals in Munster were €40 million over budget half way through the year.
Staff sick time at the Regional Maternity was also running relatively high at 6.63%.
By contrast, staff absences at Croom Orthopaedic are just 2.05%, and at St John’s 2.31%.
There was no figure provided for what overspend the Midwest Regional hospital carried into 2012, but after the deadline for sending out bills in June, there was still €12.88 million owed.
Limerick Maternity has to collect €1.48 million in unpaid bills, St John’s has €2.38 million in outstanding fees and in Croom, €1.45 million remains unpaid.
Over 500 beds were closed there half way through this year, including four intensive care and six children’s beds. Croom’s overspend to July was €548,000 and their budget was cut last year by €740,000.
The Maternity Hospital had spent €2.25 million more than it should have by June, against a budget cutback in 2012 of €2.06 million .
St John’s had its budget cut by €1.78 million this year, and it had overspent by €1.52 million up to June.
The Croom waiting figures are the higher of the hospitals in Limerick with the Midwest Regional in Dooradoyle having 74 people waiting more than a year for an outpatient appointment.
St John’s has 76 patients waiting more than a year for similar appointments.
The Government believes the measures agreed after marathon overnight talks at the Labour Relations Commission could generate up to €200 million in savings for the health service.
The Government has also decided to press ahead with the introduction of a new grade of hospital consultant, despite the objections of medical organisations. It is understood salary scales for the new consultant post will be 30 per cent lower that the rates paid to those in existing consultant posts.
At present, hospital consultants’ salaries range from €147,000 to about €200,000.
James Reilly had said anything that was not agreed by last night at the Labour Relations Commission would be referred to the Labour Court for a binding ruling under the provisions of the Croke Park agreement.
The Government said it intends to appoint hospital consultants in the future on “substantially” lower pay rates.
In a document tabled at talks at the Labour Relations Commission, health service management proposed that there would be “no differentiation between future appointees and existing consultants in terms of title, status or scope of practice”.