Press Release

Chairman Designate appointed to VHI Board

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has announced that Liam Downey has been appointed Chairman-Designate of the Voluntary Health Insurance Board.

Mr Downey will take on the role from 15 March 2015 if ratified by the Oireachtas Health Committee.

In accordance with Government policy on appointments to State Boards Downey will appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children tomorrow.

Liam Downey has served on the Board of VHI for the last four years, and previously was Chairman of the HSE for five years. He has more than 30 years of experience in national and international business affairs and management practice. Minister Varadkar said he is delighted Mr Downey has agreed to take up this important role.

Mr Downey is a former President of the Federation of Irish Employers, a former Director and Trustee of IBEC, a former Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association and a former Member of the Labour Relations Commission.

Mr Downey has been involved with the healthcare sector for many years. His experience of the private and public sector in both executive and non-executive roles will ensure he can provide the necessary leadership and direction to VHI in the challenging years ahead.

“This is a critical time in the VHI’s application for authorisation by the Central Bank of Ireland. It faces a number of significant challenges but is going in the right direction with increasing numbers of policyholders, and is now profitable again. Liam Downey will build on the work of the outgoing Chairman, Martin Sisk, and use his strong business acumen and experience to drive growth at the VHI. I wish him well in his new position,” Minister Varadkar said.

“I also want to thank Martin Sisk for leading the VHI Board during a very challenging period for the industry and the company. He has overseen significant improvements in VHI’s cost containment processes, prepared VHI for authorisation, and leaves the VHI in a much stronger position to face the challenges ahead.”