Bupa pulls out of Ireland

Bupa have announced that they are to pull out of Ireland after losing their court case against the introduction of risk equalisation (pdf file) – which the company says compels it to pay €1 million every week to compensate other insurance providers such as VHI for covering older consumers. Health Minister Mary Harney says she regrets the decision.
The decision means the loss of around 300 jobs, the majority of which are in Fermoy, Co Cork while the company’s 500,000 customers have been told they will be covered for the duration of their existing contracts, but these contracts will not be renewed once they expire.

It seems strange that Bupa pulls out when it knew that risk equalisation was on the cards when it set up in Ireland in the first place unless they assumed they could lobby to prevent it happening. Should be interesting to see who the half a million people affected by the move blame for it.

  • Henry94

    That is bad news for the public. If we can’t get a commitment to real competition from a PD minister I wonder how we are supposed to get it.

  • CS Parnell

    All goes to show why a taxpayer funded system as in the UK is a better deal. I think the nationalists in the North should propose such an all-Ireland system.

  • John

    Yeah,nationalists in N.I. should be happy they don`t live in the republic where people have to go without doctors and hospital treatment unless they are unemployed or over 65.And no many of us cant afford VHI…

  • Martin O’Rourke

    This has been the toughest decision I’ve ever been involved in because for 10 years we’ve built up a business that I’m really proud of, and to be forced to walk away now is devastating.

    We didn’t want to be forced out of Ireland but we had no choice which is what we’ve been trying to say to everyone for some time. We’ve been trying to find a solution to this problem for ten year. When this scheme was brought in 2003 we warned this would happen but no one would listen. If we stay the reality is that we lose money.

    My biggest concerns are my colleagues and our members. We will continue to look after our members’ health care until their policies are due for renewal and I’ll be doing everything I can to help our people in Fermoy and Dublin

    I didn’t like having to make a decision like this so close to Christmas but the timing was not of our choosing.

    My 300 colleagues in Fermoy and Dublin can be very proud of what they’ve achieved over the past 10 years and they know I am proud of them. We’ll be doing everything we can to make sure they’re looked after.

    Martin O’Rourke