An Bord Snip: Dept of Health
Health, ah the Dept of Health. Not just the DHC but the HSE. And staff levels. Bertie and his failure to deal with it at inception means that the Bord Snip report goes to town on an already battered service. The Dept of Health is a policy body since the creation of the HSE and the staffing levels are understandably within McCarthy’s firing range. The Dept should be reduced by 10% a year for the next three years cutting 168 staff in total.
On top of staff reductions the headline grabbers are the merging of bodies (quangos effectively) within the department. A little context, we have over 600 quangos at present, most of which are unaccounted for in terms of their benefit and output with little questioning of them during the boom era. The ones that fall under the report’s scope are the Ombudsman for Children – merged with the Ombudsman and saving €0.3m, the Health Research Board should be merged with a science research body run from DETE and saving €10.6m in the run of it.
The Health Insurance Authority is run from DOHC and regulates private health insurance – it should be merged to financial regulator neutral on budget. The NTPF takes up space in public hospitals often from ones which referred patients to the NTPF. That process should be stopped, with the NTPF buying procedures from private only hospitals.
By the end of 2008 the Hep C tribunal has given out €900m spent in awards. These need to be assessed.
The Early Childcare supplement was introduced to assis parents with childcare costs – directed at commuters in the run up to 2007 election. This is to be cut, it should lead to staff cuts at Dept Social Affairs
The National Childcare Investment Programme was designed to replace the above childcare supplement by providing capitation to providers of childcare in order to streamline costs. The Bord Snip reckons €10m can be saved by streamlining the admin and alter the means test.
Total DOHC saving: €41m and 168 staff cut