The financial situation in the HSE continues to be extremely challenging. In the short term, to address the 2012 position, a range of measures are being undertaken in order to achieve a balanced budget. These include the use of capital to fund revenue on a once-off basis and the transfer of Department funds to the HSE on a once-off basis. The HSE has been required to review all pay and non-pay savings targets with a view to further targeting all areas which do not compromise patient safety.
The HSE has indicated that it will achieve €130m in savings to address the deficit. Nearly 50% will come from more focused cash and stock management initiatives, savings in medical equipment (non-capital), furniture, education, training, office expenses, travel and subsistence and advertising. €6m of savings will come from the non-reimbursement of certain non-essential products. Some €60.5m of savings will come from specific service-related measures. These measures are now the subject of intensive discussions with the HSE and local stakeholders. I have instructed the Executive that efficiencies must be achieved in the first instance before patient services are affected and in this regard, patient safety must be paramount.