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Major rise in HSE early retirements
[Posted: Wed 02/12/2009 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Over 2,100 health staff have availed of early retirement from their jobs this year, according to Health Minister Mary Harney.
She told the Dail Select Committee on Health and Children that the increase in early retirements was linked to concerns that retirement lump sums may be taxed from next year.
The Minister said her Department was seeking a supplementary estimate of €254 million for 2009 to cover a shortfall in a number of areas, including €73 million associated with an anticipated increase in early retirements.
She said the early retirements from the health service this year included of 45 doctors/dentists; 110 health and social care professionals, 722 nurses, 141 management/admin staff; 431 inpatient/client care - the total availing of early retirement amounted to 2,143 so far this year.
The Committee was told that the supplementary estimate was also required to meet unexpected extra costs such as a projected shortfall of €102 million in health contribution receipts, a shortfall of €18 million in pension levy receipts and costs of €47.5 million associated with the management of the swine flu outbreak.
The supplementary estimate also includes additional development costs of €25 million for mental health facilities financed in previous years from revenue from the sale of property.
The Minister said the cost of funding the medical card scheme had also been greater than projected. The number of people covered by medical cards was estimate to increase by 135,000, she said, bringing the total number of medical cards to just under 1.5 million.
She said the increase in costs under the medical card and demand-led schemes was primarily due to the downturn in the economy and the associated rise in the live register, which is resulting in more epoeple becoming eligible for a medical card.
The Minister said the moratorium on recruitment would not apply to replacing staff who retired who were in frontline posts, but admin staff would not be replaced.
She told the Committee that it was intended to shed 6,000 staff from the health sector between now and 2013.
Referring to the olan for proposed prescription charges, the Minister said there was a need to discourage overprescribing and overdispensing of medical items.
She said it was planned to introduce reference pricing for drugs next year, under which the State would set a reference price it is prepred to pay for pharmaceutical products, and the State would only cover the cost to the level of the reference price.
|Anonymous Posted: 07/12/2009 10:19|
Of those in 2,100, will those who hold key medical roles be replaced?
As for the claim that there was a need to discourage overprescribing and overdispensing of medical items. This is simply a pathetic and see-thru excuse from what is simply a money makign exercise in charging for items dispensed in perscription. No-one goes to the doctor and takes medicine unless they need to and I would question why any Dr. would perscribe somethig if it is not needed. What this will lead to is people not gettign vitally needed medication, getting ill and ending up in hosptial where they will cost the HSE a lot more in the long run.
|badger5079 Posted: 14/12/2009 04:21|
If people can pay 7 Euros for a pack of fags they can pay 50 cents for a prescription.
|Anonymous Posted: 14/12/2009 14:12|
badger that is a gorss generalisation. Not every smoker is on a medical card and the not all medical card patients smoke.
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