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arrears Ireland's highest-paid HSE consultant earned more in back pay last year than Ryan Tubridy gets annually

Figures released by the HSE in response to a Freedom of Information request show that the top paid medical consultant last year earned on average almost €15,000 per week

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Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy

The country’s best paid HSE medical consultant last year earned more in back-pay than RTE’s Ryan Tubridy gets paid each year.

New figures released by the HSE in response to a Freedom of Information request show that the top paid medical consultant last year earned on average almost €15,000 per week or €757,775 for the year.

The consultant’s pay was made up of basic pay of €199,282 and on-call allowances of €36,308.

However, the bulk of the consultant’s pay arose from arrears of €522,184 - €27,184 more than Ryan Tubridy's €495,000 annual pay for RTE in the most most recently reported year of 2019.

The medical consultants benefited from arrears payouts arising from a settlement agreed between the State and medical consultants concerning an alleged breach of contract in relation to the non-implementation of the 2008 consultants' contract.

One other consultant last year received pay from the HSE in excess of €600,000. The medic received pay of €680,375 that included basic pay of €410,036 along with on-call payments of €168,890, overtime of €41,808 and allowances of €49,924.

The medic also received arrears of €9,715.

Four other consultants received pay between €500,000 and €600,00 including one who received €593,340 comprising of basic pay of €390,934, arrears of €130,209 and €71,958 in on call pay.

A further seven consultants received pay between €400,000 and €500,000.

The figures include one consultant who received more in on call payments at €221,645 than basic pay at €199,281.

The figures show that the numbers of consultants earning over €100,000 last year increased by 136 from 2,710 to 2,846.

The breakdown provided by the HSE shows that 1,703 consultants earned between €100,000 and €200,000 last year compared to 1,557 in that earning bracket in 2020.

A further 1,075 consultants earned between €200,000 and €300,000 last year compared to 929 in that bracket in 2020.

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However, there was a steep decline in the numbers earning between €300,00 and €400,00 last year - 55 compared to 202 in 2020.

Providing context on the figures, the HSE FOI unit stated that “an additional 1.0% increase in pay for all staff was implemented from 1st October 2021".

The FOI response stated: "This increase was calculated based on the pay scales in place at this date. This increase was calculated on top of the accumulated costs to date including all the previous Public Services Stability Agreement 2018 -2020 (PSSA) rate increases.”

The response added: “Effective 1st July 2021, all staff earning an annual salary of between €70,000 - €150,000 received full & final pay restoration to Pre-FEMPI salary levels, which prevailed as at 1st September 2008. Those employees included in this initiative did not benefit from the general pay increase of 1st October 2021 as noted above.

The FOI unit concluded: "Also, in 2019 revised pay scales were issued and implemented on foot of the Consultant Settlement Agreement and these increased pay scales continued to be paid in 2020, 2021 and all subsequent years."

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