Last year, four residents received overtime bonuses of more than 150,000 euros each


Last year, four residents received overtime bonuses of more than 150,000 euros each.

Figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in response to a freedom of information request show that the overtime bill for Non Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs), or resident physicians, fell by 9.5 percent, or €10 million, to 118.84 last year million euros has increased.

The overtime bill of €118.84 million accounts for 50 per cent of the HSE’s total overtime bill of €237.9 million for 2021.

Overtime pay for NCHDs rose as the HSE continued its fight against Covid-19 in 2021.

In addition to the four NCHDs who were paid overtime of over €150,000, a further nine resident doctors were paid overtime of between €100,000 and €150,000.

The total overtime bill for the top 10 earning NCHDs last year was $1.375 million.

The maximum paid to an NCHD for overtime in the past year was €169,772 paid to a specialist registrar in Cork whose total salary for the year was €250,581.

The specialist’s overtime pay of €169,772 was more than double the base salary of NCHDs of €80,808.

The highest-paid NCHD was paid €281,894 last year, taking into account the Galway registrar’s base salary of €123,328 and overtime pay of €158,565.

The third highest paid NCHD, listed as Senior Registrar in Limerick, was paid a total of €239,834 last year, consisting of a base salary of €89,650 and overtime of €150,184.

In all, nine NCHDs earned total compensation – just base pay plus overtime – in excess of €200,000, and another 15 earned total compensation between €150,000 and €200,000.

A spokesman for the Irish Medical Organization (IMO) said on Friday that “there are over 7,500 NCHDs in the Irish system and these types of payments are very rare”.

He said: “Even so, they show how chaotic the system is that some NCHDs are being forced to work so much overtime just to keep the system running.”

Earlier this week, IMO announced its intention to elect NCHDs for industrial action after saying its NCHDs were demoralized, frustrated and angered by long-standing concerns about working conditions, safe working hours and routine breaches of contract.

The IMO spokesman said on Friday: “Our most recent survey of NCHDs also found that 54 per cent of NCHDs have not received payment for all their overtime. This is exploitation and must stop.

“That’s why we’re running the #standingup4nchds campaign and voting for industrial action.”

According to a statement accompanying the HSE FOI Response, “Overtime is primarily used to cover short-term absences and/or to respond to immediate duty pressures.

“Extra overtime costs are generally caused by wage increases combined with higher utilization; However, it is important to note that increased absences and service demands as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on overtime needs in 2021.”

Regarding mental health overtime costs, the HSE statement accompanying the FOI Response states that mental health overtime costs are largely driven by the need to maintain rosters at safe levels, particularly in acute care units and community services.

The HSE said there are significant vacancies in the mental health service and in 2021 this has been exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on staffing levels.

The HSE said: “The availability of qualified staff is a significant problem in mental health services, where demand exceeds supply in both national and international contexts, despite numerous local and international recruitment campaigns, and where the workforce, particularly younger staff, is seeking employment avail opportunities outside of Ireland”.

The HSE said: “This reflects the international market in which healthcare operates and an international shortage of medical staff.” Last year, four residents received overtime bonuses of more than 150,000 euros each

Fry Electronics Team

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