Belfast Telegraph

Overdraft hospital backed by Kenny

The Taoiseach has said a hospital that took out a 12 million euro overdraft to manage cashflow problems is undergoing the kind of transformation the Government supports.

Enda Kenny backed claims from Tallaght Hospital that patients would not be affected by its financial decisions, insisting it was on track to deliver generational changes that were in its patients' best interests.

"Tallaght is an example of a hospital transforming itself to the way we want it to be," said Mr Kenny. "By 2014, they expect to be where they want to be and where they know they can be."

The Co Dublin hospital confirmed it had obtained a facility of more than 12 million euro from Allied Irish Banks to cope with budgetary overruns.

Chief executive Eilish Hardiman insisted that while the hospital had a deficit to tackle, it had changed its model of care meaning more patients were treated and more effectively.

"It's a good financial, prudent measure to have that facility in place so that the hospital is able to address its cash requirements at year end," she told RTE Radio.

Ms Hardiman confirmed the hospital drew down four million euro of the overdraft at the end of 2011. The amount was repaid in full in January 2012. The hospital also claimed it made savings of 6% this year, despite a 5% increase in patient numbers.

Mr Kenny praised Tallaght Hospital for its achievements despite having a large deficit. It was over budget by 10 million euro in July, and last year had overruns of 14 million euro.

"(Ms Hardiman) set out very clearly what can happen with a hospital which had an extraordinary overrun in terms of its budget, but which has managed that to see more people treated more effectively with better service, and when its budget has been cut it has still made savings," said the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile, the Health Service Executive revealed on Tuesday its financial deficit had reached over 370 million euro. Director general Tony O'Brien told the Dail's Public Accounts Committee that the overrun at the end of September stood at 374 million euro.


From Belfast Telegraph