Press Release

Chairman of the VHI Board

Mr Derry Hussey has informed the Minister for Health and Children of his decision to step down as Chairman of the VHI Board for. The Minister has accepted his resignation with regret. Mr Hussey has successfully served as Chairman of the VHI Board since March 1997, and will continue in office until mid-September. The Minister wishes to thank him for his valuable contribution.

Mr Hussey has presided over a period of strong growth in the VHI including a membership increase of 134,000 persons since his appointment. During that period, which included the publication in 1999 by Government of the White Paper on Private Health Insurance, the VHI has introduced new products in response to the changing competitive environment. Throughout this period, Mr Hussey has proved to be a very effective Chairman of a company in transition and has overseen the development of a more financially secure position for the VHI.

Mr Bernard Collins will be appointed by the Minister to fill the vacancy on Mr Hussey┬┤s departure. Mr Collins is currently Chief Executive Officer of Lifemed Consulting Limited. He has over thirty years business experience and has filled senior management positions in a number of companies. His commercial directorships include Non Executive Director of IDA Ireland Ltd and Non Executive Director of Boston Scientific International Distribution Ltd. He is also a Director of the American Chamber of Commerce and is on the National Competitiveness Council as a Government appointee. The Minister believes that Mr Collins, with his business background, is well suited to leading the VHI into the new challenges presented by the health insurance market.