New HSE chief: Cutbacks will ‘absolutely’ mean bed closures
THE INCOMING HEAD of the Health Service Executive has admitted that the latest package of financial cutbacks in the health service this year will “absolutely” result in the closure of beds and loss of personnel.
Tony O’Brien said the cuts – announced on Thursday – were a necessity if the HSE was to avoid running out of cash before the end of the year.
O’Brien said that if the latest €130 million of cuts were not effected, the service would run a deficit of €500 million – which would mean the HSE was in line to run out of cash before the end of the year.
He added that the cutbacks – which include a reduction in overtime and clampdowns on the use of agency staff to fill the gaps left by the public service recruitment embargo – would “absolutely” mean that the overall capacity of the system would be lowered.
“In my intray, when I became effectively the acting CEO of the HSE less than two weeks ago, was a clear requirement from the government, by the end of last week, to identify €130 million of cuts which could be definitively be delivered this year,” O’Brien told RTÉ’s This Week programme.