Beacon Hospital confident they will sign ‘revised’ agreement with HSE today

56

It is the desire of the Beacon Hospital to sign an agreement with the HSE today, CEO Michael Cullen has said.

r Cullen told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland that the HSE sent the hospital a “revised agreement” last night, that he believes goes a long way to addressing the concerns that kept the hospital from signing a ‘safety net’ surge capacity agreement earlier this month.

The Beacon were the only private hospital to refuse to enter into the agreement that would have seen it hand over 30pc of its capacity to the HSE, if needed.

HSE CEO Paul Reid this weekend described the Beacon’s decision not to enter the agreement as “beyond belief and comprehension”.

Mr Cullen said he was “delighted” that the HSE sent the hospital a “revised agreement” which “goes a long way to addressing the concerns raised by us over the past two weeks”.

“We have been looking at it all night – I think it goes a long way towards doing that. We will seek a number of clarifications and are meeting the HSE later today to try and reach an agreement.

“It is our desire to sign up. It is our great hope, I think it would be a major disappointment, if we weren’t able to reach an agreement. I’m delighted that this agreement seems to address our initial concerns and then I’m more than happy to sign the HSE agreement. We believe we are wearing the green jersey and are happy to sign the agreement,” Mr Cullen said.

The CEO said “it was never about money” when the hospital refused to enter the agreement with other private hospitals but rather about having operational control of their own hospital.

“We took this position because of our experience in the previous surge in April, May and June of last year, when having signed the HSE agreement, we were left with 70pc of the hospital being empty for the duration of the agreement.

“Immediately before it, it was operating at over 90pc capacity and immediately after it, it was operating at 90pc plus capacity. In fairness to our own staff who have been working on these patients, we felt we had to respond and put the record straight.

“This was never about money – it’s the fact that we are a facility that is geared up to operate near full capacity and we were only able to treat 30pc of the patients that would normally be treated in the Beacon. A huge number of patients did not get treated and should have been treated during that time,” Mr Cullen said.

He said the hospital was “disappointed” with Paul Reid’s comments at the weekend that the hospital weren’t wearing the green jersey and said they believe it doesn’t “accurately or adequately reflect the fact that the hospital is currently, and for the last number of months, providing significant capacity to the public system”.

“This was about disillusionment as well as wanting to have operational control to treat patients and indeed the patients of the public system. This was never about being unable to treat public patients, it was being able to control our own activity,” Mr Cullen pointed out.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News