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Thread: HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

  1. #1
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    Default HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

    There's an article in the Sindo today under this headline. The figures came as a result of questions in the Dáil.

    The tone of the article is that this figure is too high. It contains quotes such as:
    "If a private sector company had a similar level of bureaucrats it would be bankrupt within a year," said the Meath TD.

    It is also unlikely that Mr Cowen will be impressed by the figures. In the immediate aftermath of the Budget the minister ordered all of the Government departments to provide specific proposals to "maximise administrative savings" by March 1, 2007.
    Unless my maths is wrong, 600 million represents about 4% of the health budget. Even if we accept the conventional wisdom, on this site and elsewhere, and say that a large part of this 4% is wasted, does this not still mean that money wasted on administration is a tiny fraction of the health budget?

    Reading a lot of the comment here and in the other media I was left with the opinion that the health services were being weighed down by huge levels of administrative waste and that large parts of the increases in the health budget were being wasted this way. These figures seem to contradict this.

    Am I missing something or is all this talk of excessive administration a bit of a storm in a teacup?

    The article is here: http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 41741.html

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    Default Re: HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

    Quote Originally Posted by John_C
    There's an article in the Sindo today under this headline. The figures came as a result of questions in the Dáil.

    The tone of the article is that this figure is too high. It contains quotes such as:
    "If a private sector company had a similar level of bureaucrats it would be bankrupt within a year," said the Meath TD.

    It is also unlikely that Mr Cowen will be impressed by the figures. In the immediate aftermath of the Budget the minister ordered all of the Government departments to provide specific proposals to "maximise administrative savings" by March 1, 2007.
    Unless my maths is wrong, 600 million represents about 4% of the health budget. Even if we accept the conventional wisdom, on this site and elsewhere, and say that a large part of this 4% is wasted, does this not still mean that money wasted on administration is a tiny fraction of the health budget?

    Reading a lot of the comment here and in the other media I was left with the opinion that the health services were being weighed down by huge levels of administrative waste and that large parts of the increases in the health budget were being wasted this way. These figures seem to contradict this.

    Am I missing something or is all this talk of excessive administration a bit of a storm in a teacup?

    The article is here: http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 41741.html
    Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

    In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.

    Pat Kenny did an interview with a Finance Manager in the HSE a couple of weeks back. She described working until 9pm one evening and then coming home to hear herself being described as a bureaucrat on the news. She also said her daughter came home from school one day and asked her if she was going to be fired.
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    Default Re: HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

    Quote Originally Posted by qtman
    Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

    In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.
    Fair enough about the capital budget, I hadn't thought of that.

    I'm skeptical of your figure of 30%. 600 million is 30% of 2 billion. The HSE must have more than 2 billion to spend each year.

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    The very fact that the article compares the HSE with private sector companies belies its credibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nineteensixtyseven
    The very fact that the article compares the HSE with private sector companies belies its credibility.
    Yes but the article is based upon a reply given to a Dáil question. Irrespective of whatever else in in the piece, it seems to be a fact that the HSE spends 600 million on administration each year.

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    The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...

    That is the problem....and with regards the comparison to the private sector it was saying that if a private sector spent that much on admin staff they would be bankrupt..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dublinguy
    The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...
    I can't understand why you think that is odd.

    It would be very unusual for a Health Service to have more paramedical staff than administrative staff. The HSE has a very broad remit. They do everything from processing insurance claims to testing water quality in rural homes.
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    Default Re: HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

    Quote Originally Posted by John_C
    Quote Originally Posted by qtman
    Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

    In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.
    Fair enough about the capital budget, I hadn't thought of that.

    I'm skeptical of your figure of 30%. 600 million is 30% of 2 billion. The HSE must have more than 2 billion to spend each year.
    I don't think the 600m covers all support and administrative costs, just the wages of managers over a certain grade. The 30% also includes other non-wage administrative costs e.g. data connectivity, telephones charges, photocopier repair etc etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dublinguy
    The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...
    If this is the case, it puts the HSE budget at 4.8 Billion which still seems very low.
    Maybe I'm wrong and that's what the budget is but there's something about these numbers which don't add up for me.

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    Default Re: HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year

    The HSE Revenue Income and Expenditure Account 2006 says that out of a total budget of €11,959,092,000 :

    They spent €2,815,354,000 on paying clinical staff.

    They spent €1,107,293,000 on paying non clinical staff. (ie. mainly themselves !)

    They also spent €555,014,000 on Office and Administration Expenses.

    Those figures seems a tad larger than the €600mil quoted in previous posts.


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