Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (30)

Joan Burton


30. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has instituted new or amended structures in the monitoring of health services expenditure in order to ensure that budgets have a reasonable chance of meeting their targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25682/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As you are aware managing expenditure within the overall fiscal parameters has been a key factor in ensuring that our fiscal targets have been achieved. A key responsibility of each Minister and Department is delivering public services efficiently and effectively within their budgetary allocations. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is in regular contact with all other Departments and Offices including the Department of Health to ensure that expenditure is being managed in line with not only Departmental allocations but also within the overall fiscal parameters.

In addition to the normal monitoring structures, I have put in place a Health Budget Oversight Group which includes senior officials from the Department of Health, the HSE and my Department. This meets on a monthly basis and provides me with the up-to-date expenditure position.

At end-May, the Gross current expenditure of €6.9 billion by Health is €559 million or 8.9% higher than the same period in 2018.  This is compared to the overall increase of 5.8% budgeted for the full year and illustrates the challenge and the need for staffing and savings measures to be proactively managed by the Department of Health if the requirement for a Supplementary Estimate in the sector is to be avoided this year.