As jobs in the health sector continue to be under threat it was revealed this week that the HSE paid a staggering €90,000 to a consultancy firm for a cost-containment report.
The contract was awarded to UK consultants Mott MacDonald following a tender process in April of this year. The Mott MacDonald team made up of medical, nursing, and accountancy professionals, then carried out on-site visits to hospitals and community services across the HSE west region.
Unions were left reeling recently following a leak of the report which recommended a range of cost-cutting measures, including the termination of 1,000 temporary contracts and the possible closure of a hospital in order to generate savings of between €44 million and €54 million.
HSE West, which is faced with a €90 million budget deficit, maintain that the report is just a guide for management and no firm decicions have yet been made.
Crisis talks between unions SIPTU, IMPACT, and the INMO, and senior HSE managment at a Labour Relations Commission hearing last week failed to result in an agreement. Unions posed a number of questions at the LRC talks and it is hoped that the HSE will produce some answers this week.