Dismiss at HSE chief Paul Reid’s army driver for company car
Nursing students still awaiting pandemic grants said it was “shameful” that HSE boss Paul Reid was given an army driver when he was given a company car.
Third-year nursing student Ciarán Mac an tSaoir said it was “unjustifiable” for Mr Reid to be given a driver and company car while nursing students still await their pandemic scholarship.
It emerged last year that the Defense Forces were providing the services of one driver per trip to Mr Reid on occasion for trips between Leitrim and Dublin. A car was also provided by a private company.
The health service accounts for 2020 published in July 2021 explained that the CEO had received total compensation of € 426,208. This included a basic indemnity of € 358,651, indemnities of € 48,416 and a benefit in kind for a company car, worth € 19,141 for the year.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed in November that he would provide € 12 million in additional support to nursing and midwifery students in clinical placements, including the extension of the pandemic placement grant of 100 euros and an increase in housing allowances from 50 to 100 euros.
The minister is also examining whether a “permanent improved program can be developed” from September 2022 to provide additional support for students participating in a “supernumerary placement” in the first, second and third year and during the first semester of the fourth year . Fourth year interns will also receive an additional € 1,800 for their 36-week internship.
Nursing student Mr Mac an tSaoir said on Friday it was “shameful” that students are still waiting to know when the pandemic placement scholarship will be released when Mr Reid has “unallocated resources. foresight “.
“Nursing students have to go through a two-year review process just to get a meager promise of under-allowance,” he said. “It takes months and months and months for it to be implemented during a pandemic. Paul Reid earns a very high salary, but they devote financial and physical resources to him. This is very revealing of the attitude of the HSE vis-à-vis its workforce in relation to its management. It makes nursing students very, very cynical about the public health care system.
The HSE has confirmed that Mr Reid does not receive car allowance and does not receive fuel or mileage charges. They also said that the assistance provided by the Defense Forces “enabled the CEO to conduct video conferences while being mobile and for security reasons due to the long working hours during the ongoing national public health emergency. “.
“Mr. Reid used the service intermittently until the end of June 2020, when the travel restrictions were lifted,” they added. A spokesperson for the health ministry said on Friday evening that the examination of student nurses is “subject to continuing commitments between the health ministry and representative unions.” Therefore, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this point.
Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell said that while he had no problem with Mr Reid having a driver, he disapproved of the CEO’s high salary and that a member of the defense forces with a high salary. lower led him.
“I think he’s been a great communicator through Covid19,” he said. “But there’s € 20,000 in in-kind benefits there while being driven by soldiers who probably received two-thirds of their salary. This is almost the full salary of the starting nurses. I understand that is what he has the right to claim, but at the same time it leaves a bitter taste in people’s mouths.
“We now have two or three senior executives at HSE and the Department of Health earning double what the Taoiseach earns. The NHS chief earns less than our HSE boss earns. We may have to fend for ourselves and consider a much better distribution of the wealth there. The soldiers driving [Mr Reid] were probably paid around € 30,000 per year.