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"Don't punish sick kids" - charity warns hospitals still need help, despite top-up furore

There is a serious risk of donors not supporting fundraising campaigns in protest over the top-up payments to hospital executives, a charity has warned.

Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

SICK CHILDREN COULD end up bearing the brunt of public anger over salary top-ups to hospital executives, a charity has warned.

The Children’s Medical and Research Centre says there is a serious risk of donors not supporting fundraising campaigns in protest over the top-ups to health bosses.

HSE representatives are to be questioned by the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee in the coming days after it emerged that one in four of the country’s 43 State-funded hospitals and health agencies have been found to be breaching pay caps for some senior executives.

The money for the salary top-ups has been coming from additional sources, including income from hospital shops and car parks, as well as outside sources in the private sector.

Economist David McWilliams has described it as a “smart stroke to get over government pay guidelines” in which the bonuses of hospital bosses are “linked to the sales of Mars Bars, Crunchies and Twixes in the hospital shop”.

The CMRF, an independent charity which raises money for Crumlin Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in the country, is fundraising to upgrade the Outpatients Department which, it says, was built over half a century ago but is now “falling apart at the seams”.

A spokesperson for the CMRF appealed to supporters to continue to put the needs of sick children first.

Independent TD for Dublin South Shane Ross has said there is an “urgency” about the top-ups which require immediate action.

Read: “‘Because I’m worth it’ culture is still alive and well: HSE to be grilled over top-up payments >

Read: HSE will report on hospital executive pay breaches ‘in a couple of days’ >

Read: ‘This has got to stop’: Reilly concerned about pay top-ups for some health chiefs >

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