Big Read: Ministers at war over €22.5bn health budget

Row between Department of Health, HSE and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform about this year’s estimated €1.5 billion health overspend has been brewing for some time

Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Public Expenditure and Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Health: the battle lines are drawn for next year between Donnelly and Donohoe as the latter insists on greater financial controls.

Bernard Gloster’s email to Stephen Donnelly on March 15 struck an optimistic note.

The newly appointed chief executive of the HSE was preparing to finalise this year’s National Service Plan, and had reworked his introduction, and submitted it to the minister for health.

A €21.6 billion budget, Gloster said, “is by any definition an enormous investment by the state and is a reflection of the increasing emphasis [that] government has placed on improving health and ...