ENNIS hospital faces the prospect of being effectively penalised for its prudence in providing services substantially under budget, Clare councillors have claimed.
Official HSE figures have revealed that Ennis hospital was €1.4 million or almost 10% under budget at the end of September last, compared to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, which incurred a budget over-expenditure of 14.9%.
While Nenagh hospital was under budget by 4%, there were also substantial overruns at St Munchin’s Maternity, Limerick and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital of 20.3% and 21.3% respectively.
Clare County Councillor, Tom McNamara proposed Ennis hospital should be given over €1m to run services in 2012, depending on how much it finally spent by the end of the year in recognition of its current budgetary position.
Otherwise, he argued Ennis hospital would be effectively penalised next year for coming under budget this year.
HSE official Daniel McCallion warned any hospital carrying a deficit at the end of this year would have to deal with it in the new year because no supplementary funding would be made available by the Government.
However, even if an acute hospital in the HSE West, which stretches from Donegal to Clare, broke even at the end of the year, an overall allocation for the region would have to be made for acute hospitals next year.