The 2019 National Service Plan set out a budget of over €16.05 billion for the HSE, the highest budget ever allocated. The HSE current expenditure budget was increased by over €848 million on the 2018 Supplementary budget, a substantial additional level of funding. The amount allocated follows an extensive process of engagement between my Department and DPER, which considers both the funding requirements as submitted by the HSE and the fiscal position. These types of engagements are a normal part of the Budgetary process and happen with agencies across Government. All public bodies put forward spending proposals but all such bodies, including the HSE, are required to operate within the amounts proposed by Government and determined by the Dáil. While increased resources contribute to health service improvement, there are also ways in which improvements can be achieved within the current resources. The HSE has my full support in achieving these improvements as part of our shared reform agenda.
Since I have come to office the allocation to the HSE has increased by €2.56 billion or 19%. More resources are always welcome in contributing to the development of services but there is also a responsibility on the HSE to seek greater value from the very substantial existing resources at its disposal.
The services to be provided in 2019 are as set out in the National Service Plan, and levels are typically equal to or higher than planned or delivered in 2018. The additional funding provided in Budget 2019 for new developments will support new or expanded levels of services across priority service areas. I expect the HSE to operate within the funding provided to it in 2019.