HSE’s Overspending Risks Patients

PatientsA report has uncovered lately that the HSE’s struggle to stay within the annual budget of €2.02bn has increased the risk of patients to suffer cuts in their health care.

The latest performance monitoring report taken out by the health service has shown that the situation being faced to struggle within budgets is the combined result of planned expenditure this year and outstanding deficits from the year 2011.

The data by the service has been acting as a warning for the frontline services that they could face threat. It is being said that the cutbacks in budget of hospitals is a challenge for them to bring the expenditure back into place with allocation of funding.

It has been found that hospital has overspent a total of €49m in the first two months of this year along with a sum of €29.3m spent over community services. In order to find out the reason for financial problems being faced by hospitals, a review had been conducted by Irish Patients’ Association, the report finds.

It was found by the analysts that the imposition of health service allocation cuts in the last budget, even after seeing demand on frontline services, by Finance Minister Michael Noonan was the main reason behind the same.

Also, some other issues that created such a situation included increase in the count of people quitting insurance coverage and private patient income collection remaining behind schedule nearly by 12%.

Discovering that hospitals are still at risks of facing difficulty in breaking and maintaining service levels, the team has told that cost savings plans must be introduced soon, which would possibly bring improvements in service levels, if focused properly. "Obviously this matter is of concern. If this level of overspend is to continue for the first half of the year there will be very severe cutbacks for the second half of the year", said Chairman Stephen McMahon.