Harris tells St Vincent’s: Get into line over pay or face cutbacks

St Vincent’s Hospital is facing a 20% cut in funding unless it brings itself into line with public pay rules, local TD Simon Harris has warned.

Harris, who sits on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said that St. Vincent’s is the only Section 38 organisation which is in breach of public sector pay policy, despite repeated warnings from the HSE.

Section 38 bodies relate to agencies and groups providing services on behalf of the HSE.

Last weekend the HSE informed five hospitals still in breach of pay policy that if they failed to bring themselves into line, they would face a 20% cut in funding. Four have since complied, but St Vincent’s remains uncompliant.

“The hospital has serious questions to answer and its actions to date would suggest that it is not taking this situation very seriously,” Deputy Harris said.

“When representatives from St Vincent’s appeared before the Public Accounts Committee, they vowed to ‘swing into compliance’. However, this is still not the case. The fact that the hospital is still officially classified as non-compliant is completely unacceptable.

“The HSE’s warning regarding a huge cut in funding remains in place. The onus is now on St. Vincent’s board to protect its patients and services by complying with pay policy. This has already been spelled out on a number of occasions.

“I have to wonder whether St. Vincent’s thinks this controversy is simply going to go away. I can assure the hospital that the only way to bring an end to this situation is to bring itself into line. I am calling on the board of the hospital to make a clear statement today outlining what steps it is taking to address its non-compliance.

“The HSE is due to appear before the PAC next week to provide an update on Section 38 pay compliance. St Vincent’s must take steps to address the situation in the interim.”

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