HSE plans to curtail services over deficit of more than €100m?north easter

The board will be told the total overrun for the four HSE regions at the end of April amounts to about &8364;117 million and that if cuts are not implemented now the organisation could be cing a deficit of &8364;400 million at the end of the year.

The HSE West said its spending on pay was &8364;10.7 million over budget at the end of April, while non-pay expenditure was &8364;15.3 million in excess of budget.

PLANS ARE being drawn up to curtail services across the health sector as new figures show the Health Service Executive (HSE) ran up a deficit of more than &8364;100 million in the first four months of this year.

Income from hospital charges was also &8364;8.5 million behind expectations but &8220;a major income collection project is under way&8221;.

The figures show the HSE North East region had overrun its budget by more than &8364;31 million at the end of last month.

In percentage terms, the biggest deficit was run up by HSE West, which overspent its budget by 7.7 per cent compared with an overspend of 4 per cent in HSE South.

It is understood this includes a review of older people&8217;s entitlement to home help services.

The regions have already been battling since the beginning of the year to curtail spending following substantial cuts in their funding for 2011.

&8220;While there is no doubt that the scale of fiscal challenge is daunting, it is not acceptable to HSE Dublin North East to HSE plans to curtail services over deficit of more than €100m?north easterhave any level of year-end deficit given our statutory obligations,&8221; it added.

The HSE South region had an overrun of &8364;26.2 million and the HSE West region &8211; which stretches from Donegal to Limerick &8211; had run up a deficit of &8364;34.6 million.

The Irish and Midwives Organisation also said there were plans to cut 52 agency nurses and midwives, and other agency staff at Cork University Hospital this week, but yesterday this plan was deferred pending talks.

Local plans to contain costs are also currently being implemented in the region, HSE West said.

A provisional cost-containment plan for the midwest contains proposals to close a theatre at Limerick Regional Hospital and to review the cost of locum consultants.

EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent, and MARTIN WALL

&8220;For Dublin North East, the total net reduction in our budget is &8364;127 million. This budget reduction poses significant challenges to the delivery of services during 2011,&8221; it said.

HSE plans to curtail services over deficit of more than €100m?north easter,The figures to be presented to the first meeting of the new interim board of the HSE today come amid huge concerns over funding running out for the Fair Deal nursing home support scheme.

The HSE Dublin Mid Leinster region would not reveal its figures in advance of the board meeting, but informed sources confirmed there were also significant overruns there.

The HSE South confirmed that &8220;all snorth eastern health boardervice areas are devising cost-containment plans&8221; to address the overrun to ensure that services are delivered within budget.

The HSE Dublin North East region said it had known from the outset that the financial challenges cing the HSE during 2011 would be significant.

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