A Bitter Pill

I don’t know about you but I’m finding the expenses revelations very hard to swallow. At a time when the country is in financial crisis, the idea that somebody who’s on more money than the Taoiseach, should get a bonus is highly questionable but it’s all the more outrageous when you consider the current state of the health service. Add to this, the revelations about expenses accrued by Mary Harney as Minister for Health and it becomes a bitter pill to swallow…

government jet

The Sunday Tribune has revealed that Mary Harney ran up the highest departmental bill in terms of ministerial costs and expenses. Granted our Minister for Health is a busy woman but you have to question why it was necessary for her to travel by the ‘€7,000-an-hour’ Government jet for her business trips abroad.

“Health Minister Mary Harney and her husband Brian Geoghegan ran up a bill of nearly €65,000 on hotels, limousine hire and accommodation in the space of just three years. That figure does not include the massive bill for the Government jet, which Harney used on almost every occasion she travelled abroad and which cost the taxpayer more than €735,000.” The Sunday Tribune, October 2009

Next, we are told that the HSE board has awarded it’s CEO Prof Brendan Drumm, a bonus payment of €70,000, based on his performance in 2007. This bonus is being awarded at a time when the HSE is making plans to reduce spending on the health service by up to €1.2 billion!

give your bonus back

Here’s what Dr James Reilly, opposition Health spokesperson, had to say on the subject…

Morning Ireland – RTE News

My thanks to The Sunday Tribune, to Dr James Reilly and RTE radio, for exposing this outrageous carry on.

8 Responses to A Bitter Pill

  1. Baino says:

    I’m sorry but why does hubby have to go on business trips with her? Send her on Virgin with a ham sandwich . . actually just don’t feed her it’s only a couple of hours to Europe. Send her via Abu Dhabi on a long haul to Sydney. And I will never understand why captains of industry get bonuses on top of their exorbitant salaries for what? DOING THEIR JOB. I don’t even get overtime!

  2. Annb says:

    All this was going on while my little fella couldn’t get speech therapy, OT or psychology services….. When I emailed Brendan Drumm he didn’t even reply – must have been busy out spending his bonus I suppose.

  3. Lily says:

    Very good post. Great you are back blogging. Heard it said on some radio programme last week that the government wont fly Ryanair!

  4. Steph says:

    Baino – Harney’s excuse for bringing her man with her was that as it’s the government jet, it doesn’t matter how many people accompanied her on her junkets. No doubt the taxpayer settled the bill for everyone’s board and lodging also.

    Ann – I was very aware when writing this post that it would get up your nose. I was also thinking of all those children who have had their life-saving operations delayed/cancelled at Crumlin Hospital as a result of under-resourcing from the HSE.

    I don’t for one minute believe the HSE’s promise that the new Children’s Hospital will be built by 2014. When my daughter was first admitted to Temple Street (aged 5), we were assured that the building of a new hospital was imminent. That was 15 years ago and not a brick has been laid.

    Lily – Thanks! I’m getting back into the swing of it.

    Why am I not surprised to hear that? Because Ryanair is for people who want to cut costs. Enough said!

  5. magnumlady says:

    It really is beyond a joke. That money would have gone such a long way to help all the poor children awaiting surgery.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog by the way.

  6. Steph says:

    magnumlady – It sure sticks in the throat!

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time and following your story with great interest but when I saw today that Jono’s operation had been cancelled, I could keep quiet no longer.

    The situation in Crumlin with weekly cancelled surgeries because of a lack of funding for intensive care beds/nurses, is totally scandalous! Harney should be ashamed to call herself Minister for Health & Children.

  7. magnumlady says:

    Thanks Steph. Yes Mary Harney should be ashamed, so should Prof. Drumm, the trouble is they aren’t.
    I honestly can’t understand how they are still in jobs.


  8. slynch says:

    Disgraceful sons operation cancelled and its only for tonsils what about all those very sick children who may not be with us nxt xmas. The hse is a joke

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