TALLAGH HOSPITAL HAS taken out an overdraft facility of around €12 million.
In July this year the Board of Tallaght Hospital approved a proposal to again secure a bank overdraft as a reserve facility to manage cash flow towards the end of the hospital’s financial year. It said this is considered to be a “prudent financial management decision” and was fully approved by the HSE.
While a similar €12 million overdraft facility was availed of by the hospital in 2011, an actual overdraft of €4 million was fully discharged in January 2012.
The overdraft limit is calculated based on a percentage of the hospital’s allocation by the HSE and the limit is not related to its financial deficit.
The HSE is working closely with the hospital in addressing its finances and provided a letter of support for the bank.
Tallaght Hospital has achieved operational savings in 2012 and has reduced its year-on-year spending by 6 per cent despite experiencing a 5 per cent increase in patient numbers and a 9 per cent reduction in its allocation for 2012, said a spokesperson.
It has achieved the HSE targets for reductions in agency and overtime costs and its absenteeism is consistently lower than the national target set by the HSE.
In 2011, the hospital’s financial deficit was €14.2 million – following a cost reduction and efficiency programme at the hospital, it is anticipated that the deficit will be less than €10 million for 2012.
Speaking on Morning Ireland, Eilish Hardiman, chief executive of Tallaght Hospital, said that the hospital has to undertake orthopaedic surgery, for example, before it gets funds for the surgery from the HSE. They have to pay the salaries of the staff and have to have a cash facility available for this while waiting for this payment, she explained.
She added that last year the hospital had the same facility and only drew down €4 million and paid that back in January of this year, with the funds coming from this year’s budget.