Cutting €2.2bn overrun cannot be done at cost of care, HSE warns

Health budget is now €24 billion, and health minister told the scale of potential overruns represents an ‘unprecedented level of financial risk’

Health minister Stephen Donnelly: said he expected many of the mitigation measures to work, and therefore the projected need for a €2 billion bailout by year’s end was overstated. Picture: PA

The HSE board has warned that reducing a potential budget overrun of €2.2 billion this year needs to be done “realistically” and not at the expense of patients services.

Minutes for a June 30 board meeting show the members expressing “major concern” about the projected deficit in the HSE’s finances by year end. However, it also warned that managing that deficit could not impact “service capacity, activity volumes and access times for patients”.

The Business Post has previously reported on letters between Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Public Expenditure, and Stephen Donnelly, the Minister for Health showing tensions over the possible need for bailout of the health budget, despite record investment in recent years.