The Health Service Executive Director General Tony O'Brien has said that "unspecified pay savings" referred to in the HSE's service plan for 2014, would not result in wage cuts for staff.

Mr O'Brien also moved to downplay reports that the plan was substantially altered following objections by several ministers at last Tuesday's Cabinet meeting.

The HSE Service Plan detailed how €619m in cuts in the health service are to be achieved next year.

Mr O'Brien said that if the Cabinet had not made certain changes to the plan, including to the issues of medical cards and payroll, the HSE would have had ongoing problems with the provision of health services.