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HSE bureaucrats cost €600m a year


John_C

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129
There's an article in the Sindo today under this headline. The figures came as a result of questions in the Dáil.

The tone of the article is that this figure is too high. It contains quotes such as:
"If a private sector company had a similar level of bureaucrats it would be bankrupt within a year," said the Meath TD.

It is also unlikely that Mr Cowen will be impressed by the figures. In the immediate aftermath of the Budget the minister ordered all of the Government departments to provide specific proposals to "maximise administrative savings" by March 1, 2007.
Unless my maths is wrong, 600 million represents about 4% of the health budget. Even if we accept the conventional wisdom, on this site and elsewhere, and say that a large part of this 4% is wasted, does this not still mean that money wasted on administration is a tiny fraction of the health budget?

Reading a lot of the comment here and in the other media I was left with the opinion that the health services were being weighed down by huge levels of administrative waste and that large parts of the increases in the health budget were being wasted this way. These figures seem to contradict this.

Am I missing something or is all this talk of excessive administration a bit of a storm in a teacup?

The article is here: http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 41741.html
 

qtman

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Jan 24, 2005
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280
John_C said:
There's an article in the Sindo today under this headline. The figures came as a result of questions in the Dáil.

The tone of the article is that this figure is too high. It contains quotes such as:
"If a private sector company had a similar level of bureaucrats it would be bankrupt within a year," said the Meath TD.

It is also unlikely that Mr Cowen will be impressed by the figures. In the immediate aftermath of the Budget the minister ordered all of the Government departments to provide specific proposals to "maximise administrative savings" by March 1, 2007.
Unless my maths is wrong, 600 million represents about 4% of the health budget. Even if we accept the conventional wisdom, on this site and elsewhere, and say that a large part of this 4% is wasted, does this not still mean that money wasted on administration is a tiny fraction of the health budget?

Reading a lot of the comment here and in the other media I was left with the opinion that the health services were being weighed down by huge levels of administrative waste and that large parts of the increases in the health budget were being wasted this way. These figures seem to contradict this.

Am I missing something or is all this talk of excessive administration a bit of a storm in a teacup?

The article is here: http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 41741.html
Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.

Pat Kenny did an interview with a Finance Manager in the HSE a couple of weeks back. She described working until 9pm one evening and then coming home to hear herself being described as a bureaucrat on the news. She also said her daughter came home from school one day and asked her if she was going to be fired.
 

John_C

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qtman said:
Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.
Fair enough about the capital budget, I hadn't thought of that.

I'm skeptical of your figure of 30%. 600 million is 30% of 2 billion. The HSE must have more than 2 billion to spend each year.
 

John_C

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nineteensixtyseven said:
The very fact that the article compares the HSE with private sector companies belies its credibility.
Yes but the article is based upon a reply given to a Dáil question. Irrespective of whatever else in in the piece, it seems to be a fact that the HSE spends 600 million on administration each year.
 

Dublinguy

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May 22, 2007
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The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...

That is the problem....and with regards the comparison to the private sector it was saying that if a private sector spent that much on admin staff they would be bankrupt..
 

qtman

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Dublinguy said:
The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...
I can't understand why you think that is odd.

It would be very unusual for a Health Service to have more paramedical staff than administrative staff. The HSE has a very broad remit. They do everything from processing insurance claims to testing water quality in rural homes.
 

qtman

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John_C said:
qtman said:
Some of the Health Budget is also for capital spending, but you are right; the hyperbole that surronds the HSE's administrative budget is ridiculous.

In total, about 30% of the Helath budget is spend on administrative and support services, which is perfectly normal.
Fair enough about the capital budget, I hadn't thought of that.

I'm skeptical of your figure of 30%. 600 million is 30% of 2 billion. The HSE must have more than 2 billion to spend each year.
I don't think the 600m covers all support and administrative costs, just the wages of managers over a certain grade. The 30% also includes other non-wage administrative costs e.g. data connectivity, telephones charges, photocopier repair etc etc
 

John_C

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Dublinguy said:
The article states that the HSE spend about 12.5% of their budget on their adminstration staffing costs...this is more than they spend on paramedical staff...
If this is the case, it puts the HSE budget at 4.8 Billion which still seems very low.
Maybe I'm wrong and that's what the budget is but there's something about these numbers which don't add up for me.
 

Fionn_McCool

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Aug 14, 2007
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The HSE Revenue Income and Expenditure Account 2006 says that out of a total budget of €11,959,092,000 :

They spent €2,815,354,000 on paying clinical staff.

They spent €1,107,293,000 on paying non clinical staff. (ie. mainly themselves !)

They also spent €555,014,000 on Office and Administration Expenses.

Those figures seems a tad larger than the €600mil quoted in previous posts.

:roll:
 

John_C

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Fionn_McCool said:
The HSE Revenue Income and Expenditure Account 2006 says that out of a total budget of €11,959,092,000 :

They spent €2,815,354,000 on paying clinical staff.

They spent €1,107,293,000 on paying non clinical staff. (ie. mainly themselves !)

They also spent €555,014,000 on Office and Administration Expenses.

Those figures seems a tad larger than the €600mil quoted in previous posts.

:roll:
Thanks for that, though I don't see why the rolling eyes were necessary.

The answer to my question then is that the HSE has split it's administrative costs into two separate groups. It spends 600 million on Management/Administration pay and about the same again on non pay Office and Administration Expenses. The total comes to about the 12% we got earlier in the thread.

Thanks everyone, the sums make a bit more sense to me now.
 

Fionn_McCool

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Messages
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John_C said:
[quote="Fionn_McCool":902f6p4y]The HSE Revenue Income and Expenditure Account 2006 says that out of a total budget of €11,959,092,000 :

They spent €2,815,354,000 on paying clinical staff.

They spent €1,107,293,000 on paying non clinical staff. (ie. mainly themselves !)

They also spent €555,014,000 on Office and Administration Expenses.

Those figures seems a tad larger than the €600mil quoted in previous posts.

:roll:
Thanks for that, though I don't see why the rolling eyes were necessary.

The answer to my question then is that the HSE has split it's administrative costs into two separate groups. It spends 600 million on Management/Administration pay and about the same again on non pay Office and Administration Expenses. The total comes to about the 12% we got earlier in the thread.

Thanks everyone, the sums make a bit more sense to me now.[/quote:902f6p4y]
The rolling eyes are because most sensible people would have expected that the abolition of the 11 Health Boards should have led to a decrease in the number of administrators.

Instead the number of managers and administrators in the health service has increased by 40% in six years, and by 7% since the establishment of the HSE in January 2005,according to latest statistics.

:roll: :roll: :roll:
 

John_C

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Fionn_McCool said:
The rolling eyes are because most sensible people would have expected that the abolition of the 11 Health Boards should have led to a decrease in the number of administrators.

Instead the number of managers and administrators in the health service has increased by 40% in six years, and by 7% since the establishment of the HSE in January 2005,according to latest statistics.

:roll: :roll: :roll:
Thanks,
I wasn't able to interpret all that from a single rolling eyes face (and I'm afraid to ask what meaning is hidden behind the next three).
In any case, the document you produced was helpful and I was able to get my answers from it.
 

Fionn_McCool

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John_C said:
http://www.irishhealth.com/?id=6486&level=4[/url]

To compound the problem 5,833 acute hospital beds were administered away between 1980 and 2000, during a period when the population increased.

So what we have now is a hospital system with too few beds, controlled by an out of control, self-serving and self-perpetuating centralised bureaucracy and a health minister dedicated to introducing the poor-die-young US health care system.

.
 

qtman

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Jan 24, 2005
Messages
280
Fionn_McCool said:
[quote="John_C":29k1jfnc][quote="Fionn_McCool":29k1jfnc]The HSE Revenue Income and Expenditure Account 2006 says that out of a total budget of €11,959,092,000 :

They spent €2,815,354,000 on paying clinical staff.

They spent €1,107,293,000 on paying non clinical staff. (ie. mainly themselves !)

They also spent €555,014,000 on Office and Administration Expenses.

Those figures seems a tad larger than the €600mil quoted in previous posts.

:roll:
Thanks for that, though I don't see why the rolling eyes were necessary.

The answer to my question then is that the HSE has split it's administrative costs into two separate groups. It spends 600 million on Management/Administration pay and about the same again on non pay Office and Administration Expenses. The total comes to about the 12% we got earlier in the thread.

Thanks everyone, the sums make a bit more sense to me now.[/quote:29k1jfnc]
The rolling eyes are because most sensible people would have expected that the abolition of the 11 Health Boards should have led to a decrease in the number of administrators.

Instead the number of managers and administrators in the health service has increased by 40% in six years, and by 7% since the establishment of the HSE in January 2005,according to latest statistics.

:roll: :roll: :roll:[/quote:29k1jfnc]

Very selective and misleading use of statistics. Percentage increases in relation to vastly different absolute amounts are meaningless. ie

1,000 + 1,000 = 100% increase
20,000 + 1,000 = 5% increase

For instance, in 2006, there were 43k medical/clinical staff and 17k administrative staff. The number of medical staff has risen by 35% since 2000 and the number of nursing staff by 26%, so while the relative increase in admin staff is greater more clinical staff than admin staff were employed during this period

Similarly, since the HSE was set up, the number of clinical staff has risen by 10%, the number of nursing staff by 7% and the number of admin staff by 7%.

In total the number of people employed by the HSE has risen from 82k in 2000 to 106k in 2006.

4,960 of the 24k new positions are in administrative positions, which is less than the general 4 to 1 average for clinical to admin staff in developed Health Services and the current clinical to admin staff ratio in the HSE.
 

roth ramach

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Jun 23, 2007
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in 2003 before the establishment of the hse there were 7 grade 8 administrators employed - do you know how many there are now - go on have a guess
 

Fionn_McCool

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Aug 14, 2007
Messages
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The increase in bureaucrats in the HSE /Health boards is bad enough and I didn’t even mention that other layer of bureaucracy pen-pushing in the Department of Health.

How many bureaucrats should it take to run the system ?

???
 
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