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Budget overspend of €800,000 each month by Hospital


SPENDING IN Sligo Regional Hospital continues to be €800,000-plus per month over its approved budget, according to the latest figures released by the HSE last night (Tuesday).

However, finances in the hospital improved marginally — by a fifth of one percent — during September.

Sligo Regional is now listed 13th in Ireland — from 119 centres — for rates of absenteeism. General support staff, nursing and management/admin are the grades identified.

St Johns Hospital is also showing a budget overrun in excess of 10% for the year.

The ‘shave back’ and savings in Sligo Regional Hospital helped contribute to a national picture which saw the HSE’s overall deficit for 2012 drop back to €399 million — it’s first drop.

Sligo Regional Hospital has spent €7.4 million more than its allocated budget in the first nine months of 2012, last night’s official statistics confirm.

The Hospital has now exceeded its annual budget by 10.5%, states the HSE Performance Report for September.

Statistics for Sligo Regional Hospital reveal that by September 30th it had spent €78.4 million of its entire 2012 budget of €92.3 million.

The budget allocated by the Department of Health for 2012 suggested that Sligo Regional Hospital should have been able to get by with €70.9 million between January 1st and September 30th.

In St John’s Hospital, the accumulated budget overrun for the year now stands at €1.3 million — a 10.2% overrun.

St Johns show heavy spending on agency costs for staff in medical/dental; it accounted for 23% of payroll costs in September.

The Minister for Health, Dr Reilly, has iterated all year that there will be no bail-out for HSE or hospitals running over budget.

The Government has been under some pressure from The Troika, which oversees Ireland’s bailout. It has criticised spending on health.

The Irish Times reports this morning that the Government has agreed “to comply by the end of the month with a request from the EU-IMF troika for a detailed plan to tackle the spending overrun in the health service.”

Unspent Money

RTE has, however, offered a glimmer of hope; unexpended capital budgets in 2012 may be considered for reallocation to current-side budgets, the station’s Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers indicated last night on television.

Fianna Fáil’s Health spokesman Billy Kelleher separately predicted the Minister “will move to ‘shore up’ his budget failings by moving unspent money from his Department’s capital allocation to current spending.”

A nursing union leader, Liam Doran of the INMO, said that talk of budget overruns was ”an accountants exercise.”  The original budget was wholly inadequate, he said.

Criticism of budget overrun was “unfair, misguided and unwarranted,” added Mr Doran, who praised staff for “heroic” efforts.

The leading Labour Party councillor in Sligo, Cllr Jim McGarry, has also queried in past fortnight whether Sligo Regional Hospital has been under funded by the Government. See SligoToday.ie 5/11/2012

No Specific Reference

There is no specific reference to Cregg House in the Performance Report released last night.

Page 40 deals with an update assessment titled: ”Service Arrangements and Grant Aid Agreements.”

It remains unclear if this section — unlikely — includes any reference to the ongoing impasse between the HSE and the Daughters of Wisdom at Cregg House.

The Performance Report states: ”….Of the 27 Non Acute Agencies in receipt of over €10 million in the non acute sector, 14 have completed, with the remainder all indicating that they will sign with the exception of a single provider.”

This single provider, adds the Report, ”is in negotiations on whether they will continue to provide services.”

The Report speaks of “cost containment issues,” in particular in HSE dealings with disability agencies.

The Daughters six months ago publicly highlighted an issue of under funding in a proposed renewal of its Service Level Agreement (SLA) and said they could not continue.

In the past two months the Daughters again re-stated their commitment to leave after 57 years but offered an extension to January to the HSE.

Most Up-to-date

The Performance Reports provides the most up-to-date picture of what is happening at all levels inside Irish hospitals, community services and the HSE itself.

In comparison, the report released Monday by the Economic, Social and Research Institute (ESRI) — which assessed hospitals including Sligo Regional Hospital — refers only to 2011 and an historical analysis of data.

They Reports are released online each month after all data and commentary for the relevant month has first been sent to the Minister for Health.

Sligo Absenteeism

Sligo Regional is highlighted in the Performance Report for high levels of absenteeism. It is 13th in the country on a rolling assessment over three months up to August.

Cregg House is placed 112th in a list of 119 named centres, while Roscommon County Hospital is 7th in Irish health settings for absenteeism.

The absenteeism issue in Sligo is once again  ‘flagged’ in the summary comment to the Minister.

General support staff (9.75%), nursing staff (7.39%) and and management/admin (6.48%)  absenteeism rates in Sligo Regional Hospital all far exceed the national average of 4.7% for the three month rolling period under review.

No reasons are offered in the Performance Report, or elsewhere, as to why absenteeism — and across several grades — remains high in Sligo Regional Hospital.

The Performance Report indicates that nine in every ten incidents of absenteeism is certified — 89.8%

Finally, 1.8 million medical cards had been issued by October 1st — almost 40,000 more than were planned in budgets for 2012, says the Performance Report.

via Sligo Today News for Sligo County – Budget overspend of €800,000 each month by Hospital.

via Sligo Today News for Sligo County – Budget overspend of €800,000 each month by Hospital.

Free GP care included in health proposals. Is This Just Pie in The Sky?


Detailed plans for the future of the health service, which will see free GP care for all introduced in 2015 to be followed by the promised universal health insurance scheme, were announced yesterday. The plans set out target times for implementing 48 reforms, culminating in the introduction of universal health insurance in 2016.

While many of the elements of the Future Health document published Miniser Reilly yesterday are in the programme for government, he pointed out concrete timeframes were being provided for the first time.

The plans will see a new patient safety agency next year and a health and wellbeing agency in 2015. BreastCheck cancer screening will be extended to 65-69 year-old women in 2014, while the first round of the colorectal cancer screening programme for men/women of this age group will have been completed by the end of 2015.

The document anticipates the controversial reorganisation of services by hospital groups, although the Minister indicated this would be done on a trial basis at first.

Financial reforms

A series of financial reforms will see control of health spending return from the HSE to the Department of Health in 2014 and the introduction of new financial management systems aimed at controlling costs. The HSE is currently €400 million over budget. Dr Reilly said he wanted to see “aggressive” cost control in the health insurance market with payments being made per medical procedure rather than based on the number of nights a patient spends in hospital.

via Free GP care included in health proposals – The Irish Times – Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

via Free GP care included in health proposals – The Irish Times – Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

Romney rides off into the sunset, as big a dick as always


Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney greets the audience at the end of the final U.S. presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)

Mitt Romney didn’t lose because he was awful and the GOP message was awful and the rest of the Republican Party was awful. No, it was because President Barack Obama gave people free shit.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.

”The president’s health care plan, he added, was also a useful tool in mobilizing African-American and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers — 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics voted to re-elect Mr. Obama.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,” he said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Phew! He no longer has to pretend that his 47 percent remarks were “just completely wrong.”

He can go back to his belief that 47 percent of Americans are leeches on society. And bragging to his country club friends about all the NASCAR team owners he knows, as if anyone gives a shit.

via Daily Kos: Romney rides off into the sunset, as big a dick as always.

via Daily Kos: Romney rides off into the sunset, as big a dick as always.

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