The new Director-General demands immediate short-term action and a culture of increased managerial accountability in order to combat systemic budget deficits.
On his first day in the role, the new Director-General of the Irish Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Paul Reid, has sent a stark warning to his senior management team that the highest levels of fiscal responsibility will be expected under his leadership.
Mr Reid has stated that:
“We must deliver a financial break-even in 2019, while prioritising the safety of those services that can be delivered within our budget”
Despite record levels of investment the HSE has already produced a €38 million deficit in the first two months of 2019, compounding the €600 million deficit reached in 2018.
Mr Reid has asked senior managers to immediately review ‘actions and timelines to bring about a financial break-even’, which should be presented to him by Friday 24th May 2019. He has also asked the Chief Financial Officer to set out ‘at risk’ areas for immediate action.
Moving forwards Mr Reid emphasises a culture of increased managerial accountability, stating that:
“I expect all senior managers in the health service, including clinical managers, to manage and to control spend within budgets. That means managing risks proactively and effectively, as close as practical to the level at which they arise. I will consider it an absolute failure of management, and of individual managers, if the primary net effect of good disciplines of financial management is that multiple problems and risks are simply transferred upwards to the next layer of management and ultimately arrive at my desk.”