Statement by Minister Varadkar on the Supplementary Budget for the Department of Health
“The Health Group requires a supplementary Budget for 2014 of €680 million. This provides for increased spending by the HSE of more than €500 million in 2014 on increased levels of medical activity, drugs and therapies, medical appliances, the cost of State claims, and frontline staff. This has already been included in the base for next year’s expenditure.
“The supplementary budget also provides for a number of one-off costs including lower than projected income from non-Exchequer sources in 2014 and compensation payments made through the State Claims Agency. The approach to these areas in 2015 is outlined in the HSE’s National Service Plan, published last week. The level of 2014 costs encompassed in the supplementary budget does not have any implications for the services which can be provided in 2015 as set out in the Service Plan.
“This large supplementary budget also now allows us to bring forward some spending from 2015 into December of this year, including an early access programme for new medicines for Hepatitis C which started on Monday, and the release of 300 additional places on the Fair Deal scheme, which also started this week.
“It will have no impact whatsoever on the budget for the Department of Health for next year and the HSE Service Plan announced last week is unaffected and the figures remain unchanged.”
- The supplementary budget includes €510 million for the HSE deficit which reflects increased levels of activity. This includes more demand for bed days, more emergency admissions, greater demand for community supports and services, and more elderly, complex patients.
- €5 million has been allocated for the early access programme for new, innovative drug therapies for high-risk patients with Hepatitis C.
- €3 million has been allocated to allow the delayed discharge initiative to start this year.
- €54 million is required for payments by the HSE to the State Claims Agency.
- The timing of income collection and working capital requirements associated with prior years contributes a further €108 million cash requirement in 2014.
- Savings of €4 million by the Department of Health will reduce the final cost to the Exchequer of this Supplementary Estimate