Holles St Master says all her pay authorised
National Maternity Hospital Master Dr Rhona Mahony has stressed that her remuneration is strictly in line with her contractual entitlements and Government guidelines.
She stressed that the €45,000 in extra payments, initially referred to media reports in recent days as a 'top-up' payment from private sources, was in fact her income from private patients, which she is contractually entitled to earn.
This was earned on top of her public salary and allowances worth €236,000.
She added that the extra money did not come from hospital fundraising or charitable donations.
"My remuneration as Master is strictly in line with the contract I have with the National Maternity Hospital and is exactly in compliance with public service pay requirements for my position." she said.
Dr Mahony said as a consultant obstetrician, her contract allows her to provide clinical care to private patients, as was the case with all consultants in the Irish health service who have the same consultant contract as her.
"The provision of private patient care is fundamental to the health service as currently structured,"
Dr Mahony said she had never received any additional remuneration from the health service or any other source, including fundraising and charitable donations.
She said she had been personally vilified on the payments issue over the past few days and this had been 'totally unwarranted'.
The National Maternity Hospital, in a statement, said: "No payments are made to NMH personnel from any funds raised or received as donations to the NMH or the NMH Foundation. The Board confirms that all funds so raised go directly to purchase necessary medical equipment, not provided for by allocated state funding, in order to maintain safe standards for the 9,000 babies born annually at NMH."
However, the hospital has not clarified how top-up payments to non-medical senior managers are being funded.
In the wake of reported top-up payments relating to other hospitals, which would be in breach of Government guidelines, Health Minister James Reilly is due to receive a report on this shortly from the HSE.
Both Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Dr Reilly have said that any unauthorised payments that are being made must stop.
[Posted: Thu 21/11/2013]