- Posted by irishhealthinsurance
- On May 16, 2011
Talks are underway between the Mater Private and John Cleary Developments (JCD, the landlord of the premises that housed the EUR 90m facility), to bring about the re-opening of the centre which closed in March just 5 months after its opening.
The company behind the CMC development, Sheehan Medical Ltd, blamed its closure on a refusal by the VHI to provide cover at the facility. Having been in negotiations with Vhi since 2007 Sheehan had hoped to come to an agreement in the weeks leading up to the Hospitals opening, but this never materialised. The Hospital did however reach agreements with both Aviva and Quinn Healthcare who covered the hospital for the 5 months it was open.
Vhi had claimed that covering it’s members for care at the 75-bed CMC would cost the state-owned insurer an estimated EUR 37.5 million annually within a four to five year period and insisted that there was sufficient capacity in Cork. Doctors working at Cork Medical Centre have dismissed those claims.
A leading competition lawyer quoted in the Sunday Business Post this March said that while VHI was entitled to refuse to cover the hospital, it must have objective reasons.
“VHI is in a dominant position and if you wanted to be on either side of this case alleging abuse of a dominant position then you would want to be the people taking on VHI”, he said.
On Tuesday last week, Fergus Clancy the chief executive of the Mater Private said the successful re-opening of CMC was largely predicated on their ability to offer innovative healthcare.
“Support from the health insurers is most likely to be secured if the services the new hospital offers meet clearly identified needs and offer access to medically innovative services to the people of Cork.”
VHI said “the situation was the same” in Cork in relation to its view that the private healthcare clinic had excess capacity but suggested it would react more favourably if the hospital offered medically innovative services.
What the nature of these innovative services are remain to be seen as the EUR 90 million facility housed the latest medical technology from Siemens Healthcare, making it the most technologically advanced hospital ever developed in Ireland.
The hospital also housed an intensive care unit; radiology facilities with MRI / CT / X-ray scanners; and a cardiology and neuroscience facility. International accreditation, benchmarking and auditing were also to be provided by an internationally renowned healthcare organization.
VHI did say that while they would not be covering the hospital in 2011, there may be “some opportunities for 2012.
Neither CMC landlord, John Cleary nor Sheehan Medical Ltd wished to comment on the likelihood of CMC having a future in the hands of rival private healthcare providers, the Mater Private.
Director of Corporate Business
Irish Health Insurance
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