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St Vincent’s seek legal advice after HSE said funding to the hospital could be cut

The HSE said funding could be cut because consultants are still working between the public and private hospitals.

SAINT VINCENT’S HOSPITAL are seeking legal advice after the HSE said that funding may be cut to the hospital because of “an issue of trust”.

The head of the Health Service Executive said funding to St Vincent’s could be cut because consultants are still working between the public and private hospitals on the campus.

Speaking on Today with Seán O’Rourke, Tony O’Brien said said that he had asked the hospital to stop the 80 consultants going between hospitals.

“One of the very specific concerns that we have is that in recent correspondence from the hospital, it was implied that there were only a handful of public consultants who were working in the private hospital.

“It’s transpired in recent weeks that there are many dozens of consultants engaged in the practice.

“We have an issue of trust. Were we misled or were we not? We feel perhaps we were.”

The chairman of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, Professor Noel Whelan responded to O’Brien in relation to the compliance of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group with the public sector pay policy, saying,

The Board believes that it has met in full the commitment it gave to the Committee of Public Accounts on 16 January 2014.

O’Brien said that decisions on funding would be made based on the HSE’s relationship with the hospital.

“What we are saying to the hospital is that when it comes to making decisions on where resources should go, we will have to make choices that are based on our trust with the hospital.”

He added that the issue was that the taxpayer was paying consultants a large amount for work done in public hospitals, but that it was “inappropriate” that the private hospital was being run “on the back” of the public employees.

He said that he feared St Vincent’s was being “too clever by half”.

Whelan  released a statement telling O’Brien that, “The Board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group disagrees with your interpretation of the Consultants’ Contract 2008 based on the opinion of its legal advisors and the discussions of the HSE/SVHGL task force.

Given the seriousness of this issue, not least for patient care, the Board is now seeking immediate legal advice on what action should be taken and will revert to you on the matter as soon as possible.”

Read: HSE warns St Vincent’s it will cut funding over top-ups from Friday

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