HSE meets St Vincent's Healthcare Group officials over top-up payments

Thursday 09 January 2014 21.44
St Vincent's Healthcare Group has said the top-ups are tax compliant and from private funds
St Vincent's Healthcare Group has said the top-ups are tax compliant and from private funds

A meeting between St Vincent's Healthcare Group and the Health Service Executive over top-up pay ended this afternoon after 90 minutes.

Chairman of the St Vincent's Group Noel Whelan described the meeting as very productive.

He said he would bring the issues back to a meeting of the board of the group to take place tomorrow and the group will then respond to the HSE.

Mr Whelan said that St Vincent's Group was technically in compliance with public pay policy.

Among the possible options to be discussed at the board meeting tomorrow will be reducing the salary paid to the Chief Executive, or having the CEO salary funded entirely from private income.

The HSE described today's meeting as useful, detailed and comprehensive.

It said the board of the group is due to revert to it after it meets tomorrow.

The group disclosed late last month that its chief executive Nicholas Jermyn is paid over €292,000 a year.

This was made up of €136,282 from the public sector and €136,591 from the private sector, with a privately-funded car allowance of €19,796.

The group's Director of Finance, Cormac Maloney, earns €140,876, which includes a private top-up of €32,544.

Director of Nursing Professor Mary Duff earns €96,405, including a top-up of €14,853.

HSE Director General Tony O'Brien was expected to ask the hospital representatives at today's meeting how they plan to move towards compliance with public pay policy.

St Vincent's was expected to argue that it operates public and private hospitals as a unique legal entity in the health service.

It has maintained that the salaries of the seven senior staff are tax compliant and are not funded by any charitable donations.

Hospital officials are due to appear before the Public Accounts Committee later this month to face questions about the payments.