Professional Fees From Private Patients


90302457(Dr Rhona Mahony with James Reilly, Minister for Health).

Think you’re busy?

RTÉ reports:

“National Maternity Hospital Master Dr Rhona Mahony [above] has said her remuneration is strictly in line with the contract she has with the hospital and is in compliance with public service pay requirements. In a statement, Dr Mahony said the additional €45,000 paid to her did not come from the health service or any other source, including fundraising and charitable donations.

“She said it was from professional fees from private patients attending the National Maternity Hospital. Dr Mahony said her contract allows her to provide clinical care to private patients, as is the case with all consultants in the Irish health service who have the same consultant contract as she does. She said she had been I “personally vilified over the last few days.” “This has been utterly unwarranted,” the statement concludes.”


Mahony: No extra remuneration from health service (RTÉ)

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

61 thoughts on “Professional Fees From Private Patients

  1. middleclasshero

    She’s dead right.

    Don’t forget it was only a few months ago that everyone was hailing her for standing up to the anti-abortion lobby.

    Oh you all loved her then.

    1. Domestos

      I liked Peter Mathews when he stood up and railed against the Dail Finance Committee with great passion. Then I realised his religious views were not to my taste and no longer liked him. Is this a crime?

      1. Mani

        Is it a crime to run someone over, put their body in the boot of the car, drive for miles into the heart of the country, bury their corpse in a bog, use their credit card at an ATM near Dun Laoghaire to turn the Gardai off the scent, burn my car and report it stolen. Its it? IS THAT A CRIME?

        1. Stash

          Don’t know, was the person you ran over pro or anti abortion? Possibly more importantly, were they a cyclist?

    2. Zardoz

      I still love her, she’s a hard working person who does public and private work and I’ve not heard that either suffer for it. I’m still 100% percent behind her.

      1. B Bop

        Well said Zardoz, am sick of the whinging begrudgers…this woman studied for years, a very dedicated hard worker & deserves respect-not being vilified for a mere 45grand…losing half that to tax no doubt.
        The bang of begrudgery & unfunny cynicism off Broadsheeters today is tedious.

        1. SOMK

          “Well said Zardoz, am sick of the whinging begrudgers…this woman studied for years”


          Leaving aside the implied idea that studying + time = worth.

          Isn’t “whinging begrudgers” a bit of an oxymoron? Is there such a thing as the closeted begrudger? What is a begrudger? Is it someone who inherently hates the idea of success? How can you hate success without wanting it? Please point out someone who hates the idea of anyone exceeding themselves beyond what has been expected of them, someone who looks at Messi, Einstein, Usian Bolt, Katie Taylor and says “f*** that overachieving a**hat”. Where exactly is this notion expressed in our culture? Is it in cinema, TV, radio? Show me where success is hated and failure lauded.

          You wanna go argue with some strawmen, it’s the wrong time of year.

          1. Fuppy Keane

            “Show me where success is hated and failure is lauded”

            Euros 2012.

            (as a by the by, I would question that sum as Private Fee income, just saying)

  2. Rep

    I wonder how much is costs to have the Master of the National Maternity Hospital delivery your baby? A lot I’d imagine. I am pretty surprised she does this though. I would have thought that running the biggest and busiest maternity hospital would take too much time.

      1. nige

        Health insurance does not pay consultants’ fees for births. Prices of consultants do vary but they are normally about €3k.

          1. Daisy

            It depends if you go private or semi private. If you’re SP your plan pays a contribution towards Consultant’s Fees and you pay the balance – usually around €900 – €1500. With Private you pay the Consultants’ fees directly and get seen by them the whole way through, usually anywhere from €2500 – €4000.

        1. Continuity Jay-Z


          I saw him being immolated by a group of photographers on the Luas tracks opposite RCSI.

  3. whelp

    Laughable letter in today’s Irish Times quite clearly from the relative of one of these people, claiming they are sticking with public hospitals out of some sense of duty when they could earn much more elsewhere.

    1. Sgt. Bilko

      You don’t think that she couldn’t turn her arse to the HSE and make out like a bandit somewhere like the Hermitage?

    2. dd

      She could easily earn a multiple of her salary in the USA. Even in Mount Carmel she’d easily earn more. Not only that, the NMH would deal with far more complicated high risk pregnancies in deplorable conditions. Good that there’s no envy here though.

    1. bisted

      …hope she sues the lazy hacks… she is a formidable character and worth every penny when compared to other so-called professionals.

      1. Marie

        I must agree with ye. The intial story was a disgrace, stick to the bloody back teeth of the amount of ridiculous spin put out trying to kill people’s reputations. It wouldn’t have taken a genius to work out Dr Mahony’s ‘top-up’ came from actual work (which I imagine would’ve been accounted for separately within Holles St) and not brown envelopes. It was a deliberate article and attack.

        There’s a lot of jobs out there I wouldn’t think appropriate to be double jobbing (as such) in but FFS what she’s doing is saving lives. If she can manage both fair play to her and I don’t see any evidence that she can’t.

          1. Continuity Jay-Z

            Lads, it’s the Irish media you are dealing with. The following people work in this industry.

            Una Mullally
            Brendan O’Connor
            Niamh Horan.

            If you need any further examples of the ineptitude of this industry I’m happy to provide it.

            Lest we forget Ryan Tubridy is allowed without fear of censure or opprobrium to publish books purporting to be of historical value.

    1. Mani

      Do you mean which one of the people who disagreed with you can you say ‘I told you so’ to, allowing you a pleasant afternoon to recline and breath deep in your own lavender scernted flatulence?

      1. Am I Still on This Island

        No not really what I was aiming for, I tend not to live my life by internet loonies.

        1. Sgt. Bilko

          I don’t know, AISoTI, it reads like you had come down with a ferocious dose of the Tommy-wobbles. There’s a topical cream you cant get.

  4. Daithif

    One of the funniest comments on BS in recent years gave us the image of

    “Reilly riding Shorthall”

    I give you Reilly Mark II: the O’Mahony Affair.

  5. JimmymacGringle

    Anyone know if the HSE still have 7 different payroll systems on the go?

    They were up until pretty recently despite being a remnant of when the various health boards were amalgamated.

    Obviously no-one could lose their job so the 7 different systems were kept in place.

    On the basis of this and the HSE’s general level of incompetence I’m surprised that they can actually say how much they are paying anyone.

    1. ReproBertie

      I believe PPARS was supposed to tidy up that multiple paryoll systems issue but the multitude of intricacies in the many payroll systems and pay arrangements with various members of staff proved too much for the designers and developers and helped lead to the delays and massive cost overruns on the system.

  6. Jess

    So there shouldn’t be any issue with reducing her pay from the HSE by that amount.
    Money needs to be saved, thats the mantra that keeps getting repeated, when its medical card holders its a regrettable necessity, but when it astronomically paid officials its beyond the pale.

    1. dd

      Why would they reduce her pay? Who would they replace her with. It’s well known within the health service that high calibre consultants are simply not attracted to practice in the public system in Ireland. There’s a huge amount of unfilled consultant posts. Course you’re aware of that.

      1. Talismania

        +1. She’s earning the extra money through direct service to private practice users within the system. She is limited in the number of such patients she can have, as are all the consultants. This has been an established part of the system for yonks, if you forbid consultants from making money for private practice, effectively you would be giving them a massive pay cut as it is how they supplement their income.

        Do you want to be operated on by a grumpy bankrupt doctor?

  7. Dearg Doom

    The point is, they’re paid massively for what is basically part time work. They could do 50/50 ratio of public/private work and still be paid the same amount. Whatever they do, the public money is there and the more private hours they do in reality, the more they earn.

    1. dd

      Part time? Any idea what it’s like to be on 1/1 call? That’s what the masters do. Course you’d probably be able to do 24/7 call and comment anonymously on tediously boring websites without a bother.

      1. Talismania


        Again noting that they have rules in place limiting numbers of private patients – they can’t just load up with infinite private patients to make tons of money.

  8. steve white

    again that’ll teach you to write letters criticsing hte government health spend, they’ll leak you pay details to the irish times

  9. Sido

    Jaysus Yes – A lady I know gets treatment for cancer (now in long term remission) at the Galway Clinic on VHI.
    She gets hit for €180 every time she sees the oncologist and VHI don’t pick up the tab.

  10. middleclasshero

    It’s funny how the vast peoples who at most have a basic degree or maybe a masters that any fool can pay for, all seem to know better than PhDs in science how much they should earn.

    1. Jess

      Bit of a smell of snobbery off this comment.

      Why shouldn’t those who may be less educated, but are on the receiving end of cuts in the health service due to lack of funds, be a little peeved when they see those who are paid from the same kitty earning vast sums that nobody needs.

      1. dd

        Well tbf, if there is a bit of snobbery, it’s perhaps appropriate, given that those who are arguing against Dr Mahony simply do not understand “the market” and, by extension, capitalism.

  11. tiny

    The article about “top ups” was obviously misleading, and I have no doubt that she’s done absolutely nothing wrong. But the HSE salary that she receives is still very large, especially if she also has the capacity to earn an extra €40K on top. I don’t begrudge her, but I don’t really know how we as a country can justify paying anyone this kind of money at the moment.

      1. Talismania

        Hope that was a joke Obie, do you do a lot of delivering babies down at the maternity hospital at 4 a.m.?

  12. Buzz

    Why are Irish medics grossly overpaid in general?

    I don’t know much about this particular case but I can’t help noticing the media have begun to use unflattering photos of Mahony that in some subtle way make her look like a greedy hog. Note curl of the upper lip in this one.

    1. dd

      Grossly overpaid compared to whom? If you had even the slightest understanding of healthcare and health economics, you’d realise you’re talking utter bollox.

      1. Buzz

        Compared with their counterparts in the UK and Germany for starters. A consultant friend in London is bemused by the salaries on offer here in her field.

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