The Taoiseach says that people are entitled to a world-class service given the current spending
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has issued a stern warning to the HSE that an overrun on its budget will not be accepted.
It came following reports of a €300 million overrun so far this year.
The Irish Times reports that the Department of Health has told the health service to create plans so a "break-even position will be achieved".
Speaking earlier today, the Taoiseach highlighted that this year's €14.6 billion health spend is "the biggest since the foundation of the State".
He stressed that taxpayers must see better services for their money.
He warned: "Ireland is now the fifth biggest spender when it comes to health in the Western world - and in return for that, people are entitled to the fifth best healthcare service in the world.
"We're not going to accept any excuses for failure to [deliver improvements]."
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, meanwhile, said he expects any projected deficits to be "managed carefully".
Reporting by Chris Donoghue and Stephen McNeice