Minister praises HSE for reducing deficit

The Health Minister has said that the HSE has done well to reduce its financial shortfall for the year to less than €200m.

Minister James Reilly says the shortfall is only around 1.5% of the entire health budget for 2013.

He is appearing before TDs this morning to seek official approval for a public bailout of €199m.

He said that delays in increasing fees for private health insurers are partly to blame for the overspend.

"The Government decided to implement the private patient charges from the 1st of January 2014 to ensure that the addition revenue is realised on a phased basis," he said.

"Therefore, no savings will accrue in 2013 as a result of this legislation."

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