Appointments to the Voluntary Health Insurance Board

Background Information

The Voluntary Health Insurance Board (VHI), trading as VHI Healthcare, is a not-for-profit semi-State body which is the State’s largest provider of private health insurance.  The Board was established at a time when a substantial percentage of the population, whose income was above a certain level, had no entitlement to free or partially free medical or surgical services.  Since that time, eligibility for public health and personal social services has been significantly extended and the private health insurance market has been opened to competition.  There are at present three other privately owned companies providing private health insurance and competing with VHI in the open market.

The VHI’s most recent published annual report (2013), outlining its financial position and its range of activities, can be found on VHI’s web-site here.

Functions of the Board

The main function of the Board is to make and carry out health insurance schemes as it sees fit, in accordance with section 2 of the Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 1996.

In addition to this, the Board acts as an agent for an international health insurance plan, in accordance with section 1 of the Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act, 1998, and may also carry out schemes for the provision of services in respect of health care, health insurance, illness related insurance, personal care or related activities, in accordance with section 7 of the Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 2008.

Details of appointment

The Board is governed by the provisions of the Voluntary Health Insurance Acts 1957-2008.

Section 4 of the Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 1996 provides for the constitution of the Board, which consists of a chairman and a maximum of eleven other members, all of whom are appointed by the Minister for Health.

Section 6 of the Voluntary Health Insurance Act 1957 provides that the term of office for a Board member shall be a period not exceeding five years, to be determined by the Minister on the member’s appointment.  Board members are eligible for re-appointment when their term of office expires.  It is proposed that the current appointment will be for a period of three years.

Fees and expenses

Ordinary members of the Board are entitled to remuneration of €15,750 per annum.  It is Government policy that Board fees should not be paid to public servants.  Travel and subsistence expenses arising from the business of the Board are payable in accordance with rates laid down by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Skills, experience and other requirements of board member

Candidates will need extensive health insurance experience (but also other non-life, life insurance or reinsurance experience will be considered).

The insurance experience should have been gained across either general management or senior finance, underwriting, claims, strategy or risk positions.  (Senior executive or executive/non-executive director).

Candidates will preferably have wider European (or other international/and/or regulated entity experience).

Approval of appointment by the Central Bank of Ireland

An appointment to this position will not be made unless and until the Minister’s proposed appointee has been approved by the Central Bank of Ireland under its Fitness and Probity Standards.  In general terms, the Standards require that an individual is required to be

  • Competent and Capable
  • Honest, Ethical and to act with Integrity; and
  • Financially Sound.

Further details on these requirements and on the Fitness and Probity regime in general, can be found on the web-site of the Central Bank of Ireland.

How to submit an expression of interest

Expressions of interest should be submitted through the State Boards website, and should include a detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter.

The closing date for receipt of expressions of interest is midnight 9th July 2015.

Expressions of interest received after that time will not be eligible for consideration.

Name Appointed Position type Basis of appointment
Celine Fitzgerald Feb. 22, 2010 Member Appointed by: Minister
Declan Moran Nov. 26, 2014 Member Appointed by: Minister
Greg Sparks Dec. 9, 2014 Member Appointed by: Minister
Finbarr Lennon March 15, 2015 Member Appointed by: Minister
John O’Dwyer Oct. 3, 2012 Chief Executive Appointed by: Minister
Joyce Brennan Nov. 26, 2014 Member Appointed by: Minister
Brian Walsh March 15, 2015 Member Appointed by: Minister
Liam Downey Sept. 10, 2012 Chairperson Appointed by: Minister
Paul O’Faherty Nov. 26, 2014 Member Appointed by: Minister
Ruth Barrington March 28, 2012 Member Appointed by: Minister
Seamus Creedon Feb. 22, 2010 Member Appointed by: Minister
Terry O’Niadh July 19, 2012 Member Appointed by: Minister