Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (382, 383)

Stephen Donnelly


382. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health the purpose of the recent establishment of two subsidiaries by a group (details supplied); and if this means the group will now commence owning and investing in private hospitals and clinics. [27546/19]

View answer

Stephen Donnelly


383. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if his Department, as shareholder of a group (details supplied), is now engaging in a strategy to purchase private hospitals and clinics. [27547/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 382 and 383 together.

Since 2008, Vhi has been empowered to acquire, manage, operate and maintain medical facilities (Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2008, section 7). The same Act allows Vhi to form subsidiaries to perform any of its functions under the Acts (excluding the main health insurance business which is carried out by only one subsidiary).

As a part of authorisation by the Central Bank, Vhi was restructured to separate the many functions of the Voluntary Health Insurance Board. The Vhi Group Structure continues to evolve in response to business needs. The group currently comprises the following subsidiaries and associated principal business activities:

- Vhi Group DAC is the Group Holding company.

- Vhi Insurance DAC is a regulated insurance undertaking, underwriting private medical insurance in Ireland, and is regulated by the Central Bank.

- Vhi Healthcare DAC is a regulated insurance intermediary providing sales and policy administration for the group's private medical insurance and other insurance businesses, and is regulated by the Central Bank.

- Vhi Group Services DAC provides shared services to the Group Companies.

- Vhi Health & Wellbeing Holdings DAC is the holding company for Vhi’s health and well-being services, including Vhi Swiftcare, Vhi Hospital@Home , Medical Screening and Employee Assistance Services. Vhi Health and Wellbeing DAC is the operating company that delivers health and well-being services to Vhi customers and is also responsible for developing healthcare solutions that will meet the future healthcare needs of Vhi’s customers.

- Vhi Abbey DAC and Vhi Portfolio DAC own, operate and develop properties from which Vhi Health & Wellbeing Services are provided. Vhi took full ownership of Swiftcare in September 2017.

Vhi is a commercial company operating in a highly competitive market and it seeks to pursue its strategic goals to meet the current and future healthcare needs of its members. Including through its full ownership and development of Swiftcare, Vhi has been increasingly involved in the provision of healthcare services. As Minister for Health I do not have a role in the day-to-day commercial decisions of Vhi or its subsidiaries. My Department officials meet regularly with Vhi senior management to discuss governance matters, financial performance and the strategic direction of Vhi to ensure I am briefed on important developments, some of which are commercially sensitive. My Department officials and I will give due consideration to a concrete proposal in relation to a private medical facility if and when one is received from Vhi.