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Thursday 8 June 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Julien Behal/PA Archive
Harney says 3,000 HSE redundancies and Budget cuts will have ‘major impact’
As the deadline for HSE voluntary redundancies arrives, Harney says Budget cuts and job losses will take their toll.

HEALTH MINISTER MARY HARNEY has conceded that the level of Budget cuts to the health service, and the volume of redundancies being shouldered by the HSE, will have a “major impact” on the provision of healthcare in Ireland.

Speaking as the deadline arrived for staff to apply for the agency’s voluntary redundancy scheme, which had hoped to see 5,000 staff accept a redundancy package, Harney admitted the size of cuts to the Department of Health in next month’s Budget would be “very high”.

Harney refused to suggest a final amount of the volume of the cuts – which could reach €1bn – saying that the amount would depend on the take-up of the redundancy offer, but “clearly it will be substantial”, the Irish Times reports.

“I want to prioritise areas that don’t affect patient care such as the input costs,” the minister added.

RTÉ reports that about 3,000 staff had lodged applications to be considered for the €400m redundancy scheme – fewer than the 5,000 staff the HSE had hoped to lose.

If all 3,000 staff ultimately leave, the HSE would expect to pay around €240m in redundancy payments, with an annual wage saving of about €120m.

RTÉ also reports an instruction from the HSE to the country’s voluntary hospitals that they prepare for a 7% cut in their budgets for the coming year.