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Hospice Services Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 November 2017

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Ceisteanna (306)

Micheál Martin


306. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Health if the section 39 hospices will receive funding to enable them to refund the cuts that were made following the application of FEMPI; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the country's hospices are facing a deficit of approximately €4 million which will force them to cut services in 2018 and also pose staff recruitment problems; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50622/17]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Further to previous Parliamentary Questions and discussion in the Dáil, the Deputy will be aware that any individuals employed by Section 39 organisations are not HSE employees. Therefore, neither the HSE nor my Department has a role in determining the salaries or other terms and conditions applying to these staff.

The Deputy will also be aware that the staff of these Section 39 organisations are not public servants and therefore were not subject to the FEMPI legislation which imposed pay reductions. It follows then that the staff of the Section 39 bodies will not be eligible for any pay restoration associated with the unwinding of this legislation and provided for under the more recent Public Service Agreements. As already outlined, it is a matter for Section 39 organisations to negotiate salaries with their staff as part of their employment relationship and within the overall funding available for the delivery of agreed services.

Whilst it is understood that pay cuts were imposed on Section 39 employees, it is not clear that these cuts were applied in a universally consistent manner across all the Section 39 agencies. It is also important to recognise that this group of organisations within the health sector is just one element of a larger complex issue which could have significant cost implications for the Exchequer across the public services as a whole. In this regard, I have had discussions with my colleague Minister Donohoe and will continue to engage with him on this matter.