THE ANNUAL salaries of Ireland's top health professionals have been revealed following the publication of the Health Service Executive's (HSE) annual financial report.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, who has been at the forefront of Ireland's pandemic response, earns a whopping €187,000 a year.
His deputies, including Dr Ronan Glynn - who stepped in to temporarily replace Dr Holohan back in 2020 - earn between €104,000 - €126,000 a year.
While most people in the country would give their right arm for that kind of income, it pales in comparison to the wages of HSE chief executive Paul Reid.
Mr Reid makes a colossal €358,651 every year, but with allowances, it rises to €426,208.
That is Ebenezer Scrooge-levels of wealth.
You'd have thought Mr Reid could buy himself a decent car with that sort of scratch, but no, the government provides him with a company car as well.
Reid's basic pay is significantly higher than that of Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who earns a €211,742 pensionable salary.
The report showed that 20 people within the HSE earned over €400,000 last year, and one person earned between €640,001 and €650,000 in basic pay and top-ups.
In the report's opening note, Mr Reid said that he was "proud" of the ability of the health service to respond to the immense challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
"2020 was a year like no other, not just for our health service, but for the entire nation. As news of the devastating COVID-19 virus began emerging early last year, images from Wuhan, China, and Bergamo in Italy served as a stark warning of the challenges that lay ahead for our health service and to our way of life," he wrote.
"As an organisation we prepared carefully for the virus that was spreading across the globe with early discussions focused on creating extra beds within our existing hospital infrastructure and using private hospitals.
"However, we did not know the scale of what was to come – for example, the HSE was required to work in exceptionally difficult circumstances to secure unprecedented levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect frontline workers. Prior to the pandemic we were spending €15m a year on PPE.
"In 2020, our expenditure on PPE was over €900m. I am immensely impressed by how the people living in this country worked with the public health system in handling the pandemic, and as Chief Executive Officer I am particularly proud of the responsiveness of our health service.
"There has never been change implemented so quickly by so many with such great impact. This is a reflection of the commitment, hard work and perseverance of our staff. There are also many learnings that we must take from this pandemic, and it is important to consider in retrospect what worked well and what we could have done better as an organisation.
"This is something we have prioritised throughout the year and which has informed our planning for 2021 and beyond."