Indefensible bonus as Cork drug users denied access to treatment by HSE
Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, has deemed the payment of a €70,000 bonus to the HSE’s Professor Brendan Drumm as a disgrace, especially as there is a waiting list of up to 150 heroin users who are awaiting methadone treatment from Arbour House in Cork which is run by the Health Service Executive.“If drug users are to be supported in coming clean, access to treatment, rehabilitation and detox beds are an absolute must.
“Considering the HSE is aiming to make reductions in spending of €1.2 billion next year, it is extraordinary that the Chief Executive would take a bonus which is twice the average industrial wage. If cuts are to be achieved, those at the top must lead by example by rejecting profligate bonuses such as this which are an insult to the thousands who are denied access to services.
“There are currently 120,000 people on the Live Register in Munster alone. Professor Drumm’s bonus alone could pay for 342 weekly Jobseekers’ Benefit payments. How can the HSE, and Minister Harney, despite her rejection of responsibility in this area, justify a bonus of this size in these harsh economic times?
“In 2007 the Professor received a similarly ludicrous bonus of €80,000 which beggars belief when we have people waiting on trolleys, operations being cancelled and drug users waiting for treatment. Will the Professor wait for his bonus until his house is in order? Those who authorised such a bonus in these economically straitened times must be called to account and forced to justify their actions.”