As per their press release BUPA Ireland Ltd. has announced that as and from December 14th 2006, they will begin to pull out of the Irish market. They cite the Risk Equalisation Scheme as the reason why they have had to withdraw. It was costing the company over €1million every week, because of the measures imposed by the Irish Government. The move is expected to result in the loss of around 300 jobs, most of them in Fermoy, Co Cork.
The company claimed the move would force it to hand over €161m to its rival over three years, even though its profits for the period would be just €64m.
Minister for Health Mary Harney has issued a statement saying the Government regrets the latest development and believes health insurance should be available to people of all ages without price discrimination based on risk characteristics.
So what does it mean, now Ireland only has one private Health Insurance body, namely the semistate organisation VHI. Which results in a lack of further competition ? Is it just business at the end of the day or was it a silly mistake by the Irish government to force their hand ?
More about this can be found [here]