Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (45, 46, 47)

Willie Penrose

Question:

156 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Health and Children the Government's proposals for the future of the VHI; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1903/04]

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Jim O'Keeffe

Question:

162 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children his proposals in relation to the corporate status of the VHI; and if and when it will be moved to the position of a public limited company. [1804/04]

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Ciarán Cuffe

Question:

168 Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Health and Children when he expects VHI to be privatised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2028/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156, 162 and 168 together.

The Government's decision relating to VHI's corporate status, as set out in the White Paper on private health insurance, allows for it to be moved to the position of a public limited company. Work in that connection is currently in train and arrangements are being made to obtain Government approval for the preparation of legislation. The Government has not been presented with proposals, nor has it made any decision, to privatise the VHI.