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Thread: The HSE 'Snouts at the Trough' thread...

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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    Default The HSE 'Snouts at the Trough' thread...

    The HSE spent E51million on PR men to spin for them over the last two years, including an amazing 16K a month for Brendan Drumm's personal spin-master. This at a time that they have announced a E1billion deficit and the probability of swingeing cuts. I'm going to quote at a slightly extended length to get the figures in:

    The figures were released as it emerged the deficit faced by the HSE this year could be more than €1.1 billion.

    The documents released to the Irish Examiner under the Freedom of Information Act show Prof Drumm’s "inner cabinet" were among the biggest winners from the massive pay-outs.

    In the first six months of last year, the HSE paid €83,895 to Prof Drumm’s personal communications adviser Karl Anderson. Mr Anderson is paid a monthly rate of more than €16,000. Contracted by the HSE for 183 days’ work, Mr Anderson has earned in excess of €600,000 since 2005.

    Another adviser to Prof Drumm, Maureen Lynott, was paid a total of €126,608 in the first six months of 2008. Ms Lynott, a former chairwoman of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, earned €317,005 in 2007 and €264,638 in 2006 for her services, bringing her total to well over €700,000 since 2006.

    Human resources consultant Maureen McGrath was paid €147,828 for the first six months of 2008. This despite the fact that the HSE already has a national director of human resources, Seán McGrath.

    The list of external consultants used by the HSE shows a large number are hired for HR consultancy purposes. In 2006 and 2007, Ms McGrath’s company was paid €590,976 for its services.

    Public relations firms have also benefited from being on the HSE books. In 2007, Wilson Hartnell public relations firm was paid €481,812 for "public relations support" to the HSE.

    In the same year, Janet Hughes was paid in the region of €17,500 for her public relations advice.

    Phil Flynn, the former banker and trade union leader, who was investigated as part of the Garda inquiry into IRA money-laundering as a result of the Northern Bank robbery in 2005, is also on the books of the HSE.

    In 2008, Mr Flynn was paid €52,126 for mediation and arbitration services in negotiations between the HSE and the public service trade union, IMPACT.
    HSE spent ?51m on spin doctors | Irish Examiner

    Meanwhile nurses and junior doctors' pay is on the chopping block, services are being cut back, and patients are being short-changed. Is it time to admit that the whole concept of the HSE has been an absolute failure? Our taxes wasted keeping unnecessary layers of pen-pushers, political appointees, and their PR parasites in clover.

    Meanwhile consultants' pay is to rise (albeit with extended working hours - unions are still saying that extended hours notwithstanding, it's a pay-hike at a time of cuts) courtesy of Mary Harney.
    Harney agrees pay increase for consultants - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 24, 2009

    It's alright for some, apparently. What recession?...
    Last edited by toxic avenger; 24th February 2009 at 07:04 AM.

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    It's worth noting that Lynott receives her dough for working only a half-week. The rest of the time she runs her own firm and, of course, sits on a few quangos.
    But Karl Anderson's remuneration is even more outrageous than most. It's almost at premiership footballer levels, and exceeds even that of Monica Leech in her pomp.
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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    I was wondering whether I shouldn't widen this out to a general 'snouts at the trough' thread, involving examples of public money being profligately spent for dubious ends. A fantastic example in today's Examiner presents itself:
    CORK CITY COUNCIL has spent almost €37,000 of public money over the last two years on seven official trips to Shanghai — its highest profile twin city.

    The full extent of the lavish spending was revealed at a council meeting last night.

    Independent Cllr Annette Spillane raised concerns at a time when the local authority is being forced to reduce staff, slash overtime, and is struggling to maintain services. "We should examine the possibility of using webcams to cut down the costs of some of these interactions."

    She was responding after being presented with a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred by the city for each of the official visits, the reason for them and details on who travelled.

    The figures show that there have been seven official council trips to Shanghai since October 2007.
    City council forks out ?37,000 on China trips | Irish Examiner

    SEVEN trips! What possible national or local interest can have been served by seven (count 'em) trips by the Cork great and good to Shanghai? I haven't noticed any specific benefits arising here in Cork....

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    While the county council junkets issue is indeed a valid one, I reckon it probably deserves its own thread.
    Certainly the innate and appalling waste at the heart of Drumm's 'kitchen cabinet' is more than deserving of a thread of of its own.
    In fact, it deserves the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee.
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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    OK so, this can be the HSE thread, I've started a separate one for examples of local and national unjustifiable junketry...
    http://www.politics.ie/economy/48120...ds-thread.html

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    Politics.ie Member H.R. Haldeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    The HSE spent E51million on PR men to spin for them over the last two years, including an amazing 16K a month for Brendan Drumm's personal spin-master.
    Holy Mother of Sweet fkn Divinity that is obscene. Very reminiscent of FAS paying €10k A DAY every day for an entire year to some outfit by the name of Ultimate Communications. To me, this is still the most mind-boggling obscenity of all:

    FAS audit uncovers misuse of millions - Times Online

    Ultimate Communications was given a three-year contract in 2000 to manage Jobs Ireland, more than likely based on a verbal agreement, less than 10 working days after it was incorporated. FAS paid the company €3.55m in the first 12 months. Auditors say FAS was most likely the company’s only client and that it must have been given an indication of the level of business it was likely to receive.
    Good times.

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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    It's hard to begrudge the men and women of the dark arts their exorbitant fees, not when you realise the kind of regular, stand up people they really are...



    (Sorry, that's perhaps unfair - I'm sure they're not all like that...)
    Last edited by toxic avenger; 24th February 2009 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Slightly sincere apology

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    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
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    FG's spokesman on Health says the HSE is clearly 'unable to manage its own budget', saying that 300million could be saved by a range of measures, including switching from brand drugs to generic drugs across the board (why was this not done years ago, by the way?)
    Irish Medical Times | News | HSE could save ?300m ? Reilly

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    How Drumm is still in charge of the HSE is beyond me. Once again, when a bad job is done and ********************-ups happen, no one is held accountable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    The HSE spent E51million on PR men to spin for them over the last two years, including an amazing 16K a month for Brendan Drumm's personal spin-master. This at a time that they have announced a E1billion deficit and the probability of swingeing cuts. I'm going to quote at a slightly extended length to get the figures in:

    HSE spent ?51m on spin doctors | Irish Examiner

    Meanwhile nurses and junior doctors' pay is on the chopping block, services are being cut back, and patients are being short-changed. Is it time to admit that the whole concept of the HSE has been an absolute failure? Our taxes wasted keeping unnecessary layers of pen-pushers, political appointees, and their PR parasites in clover.

    Meanwhile consultants' pay is to rise (albeit with extended working hours - unions are still saying that extended hours notwithstanding, it's a pay-hike at a time of cuts) courtesy of Mary Harney.
    Harney agrees pay increase for consultants - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 24, 2009

    It's alright for some, apparently. What recession?...
    Christ almighty - shocking figures. Doctors are getting 60K I think extra, some of them anyway, that's a rise of two times my old salary, and their pay is prob 9 or 10 times my old one, though in fairness at least they're doctors and useful. Who are these advisors and what do they do for us? Disgracful. This country is sick.

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