Louth County Hospital has the largest overspend in the country at 67 per cent or e4.6 million

Five hospitals have a combined overrun of almost e65 million, according to the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) performance report.

Five hospitals have a combined overrun of almost e65 million, according to the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) performance report.

The biggest overspend was at Beaumont Hospital Dublin which was e17.9 million over budget by the end of July.

But the Louth has the highest per centage figure.

More than 20 hospitals had an absenteeism rate over 6 per cent.

The highest level was at Louth Orthopaedic Hospital at 7.53 per cent. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda had an absenteeism rate of 7.42 per cent.

Meanwhile, Dr Michael Staunton lead clinician in the anaesthesia department at Our Lady of Lourdes has wanred that critically ill patients could die if a planned ban on overtime and agency work is implemented by the HSE.

Fiona Gartland, writing in The Irish Times, said Dr Stanuton had written to the HSE saying he “was appalled that cost-curtailment directly affecting emergency care would be considered “in the main acute hospital in the northeast”.

He said because of its role as an emergency hospital Our Lady of Lourdes could not manage the demand for its services.

Sein Fein councillor Tomas Sharkey has agruged the same point.

“The problem with the Louth County Hospital is that it is not being utilised,” Cllr Sharkey said.

“We need more patients using the facilities at the Louth County Hospital,” he said, “but instead patients are being sent elsewhere.”