Reilly wants VHI to drive down costs


MINISTER FOR Health James Reilly has said the four new board members he appoints to the State’s largest health insurer VHI will help drive down costs in private healthcare.

Dr Reilly said he remained unhappy with the cost of the provision of private healthcare and said he believed it was having an “upward effect” on insurance premiums.

He said the four new board members he would appoint to fill vacancies on the board would have a role in encouraging a reduction in costs. “They’ll be reminding the board and the board chairman of his duty in this regard.”

He said the VHI had already made “serious inroads”, including saving more than €100 million last year, but he wanted it to “accelerate”. He did not accept “for half a minute” that the costing of various procedures should increase by 9 per cent every year.

Last week the VHI insisted its latest price increases of up to €180 for an individual were unavoidable. “I’ve made it very clear to the VHI that as the largest insurer in the country, and also the one with me as the single shareholder, that I’m concerned that they drive down cost,” said Dr Reilly

Dr Reilly was speaking at Mount Carmel Hospital in Churchtown, Dublin, yesterday where he visited new facilities including a women’s health suite, operating suite and patient services centre.