Total of 177 health service staff earned more than £100k last year
MORE than 170 people in the health service are earning more than £100,000 a year, with a third of those employed by the Belfast Trust.
A total of 177 employees are paid more than £100,000 annually, of whom 60 work for the Belfast Trust.
However, the numbers represent a significant reduction for the Belfast Trust from November 2015, when figures compiled by the TaxPayers' Alliance showed that 375 employees were paid more than £100,000 a year.
Across the other four health trusts, 94 employees received a six-figure sum last year, with almost a third of those based in the Northern Trust.
Seven people were paid a six-figure sum in the Health and Social Care Board, which has been earmarked for closure.
A further seven were also paid more than £100,000 in the Public Health Agency.
Just two employees of the Department of Health earned more than £100,000 in 2015/16, and one each in the Ambulance Service and the Fire and Rescue Service.
The figures were released by Health Minister Michelle O'Neill in response to a written Assembly question by SDLP South Down MLA Colin McGrath.
In January 2015, Sir Liam Donaldson, the former Chief Medical Officer of England, told The Irish News that health chiefs in Northern Ireland should be given pay rises to attract the "best managerial talent".
"Those that you do have should be in the top league of public sector management - and one way of doing that is to make sure the salaries are commensurate with what you would get in other public sector industries in other parts of the UK," he said.
"If you look at the UK situation, in England you would be looking at chief executives getting between £150,000 and £200,000 a year, possibly more in the bigger trusts."