Press Release

Minister for Health and Children appoints group to carry out business appraisal of private health insurance market

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., having briefed the Government on the health insurance market this morning (Wednesday, 17th January 2007), has announced the appointment of a three person group to carry out a business appraisal of the health insurance market in Ireland.

The group is to provide their view of whether an adequate rate of return is available in the Irish health insurance market to insurance undertakings in current conditions.

It will be chaired by Mr Colm Barrington and will include Mr Seamus Creedon and Ms Dorothea Dowling (full biographical details below).

Mr Barrington is Managing Director of Babcock and Brown investment bank in Ireland. Mr Creedon has led the financial sector actuarial practice of KPMG in the UK. Ms Dowling is Group Liability Manager of CIE and Chairperson of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

The terms of reference for the Group are:     “To examine whether, having regard to all aspects of the current health insurance market in Ireland (structure, size, regulatory framework, etc.) and the need to maintain community rating, it is possible for current and prospective participants in the health insurance market to earn a rate of return on capital employed which would be regarded as adequate for the insurance industry. To make whatever recommendations it considers appropriate in the light of its findings.”

The Minister has asked the Group to report back to her by the end of March.

Biographical Details:

Colm Barrington is Managing Director of Babcock and Brown Limited, the Irish subsidiary of the Australian-based global investment company.where he specialises in aircraft financing. Prior to joining Babcock and Brown in 1994, Colm held various positions in the aviation financing industry, including the positions of President, GE Capital Aviation Services Limited, Chief Operating Officer, GPA Group plc and Chief Executive, GPA Capital. He started his career with Aer Lingus where he specialised in planning, hotel acquisitions and hotel financing.

Seamus Creedon is an actuarial expert who has been a director and partner at KPMG, London, where he worked for 11 years to 2006. He led the UK financial sector actuarial practice of KPMG from 2000 to 2003 and was KPMG’s deputy leader of its global actuarial practice. Over 1986 to 1993, he was the first Chief Executive of Lifetime, Bank of Ireland’s life assurance company, and Head of Corporate Development, Europe for Bank of Ireland, based in London.

Dorothea Dowling is Group Liability Manager with CIE and non-executive Chairperson of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. She was chairperson of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board, which provided ground-breaking analysis of insurance issues in Ireland and laid the groundwork for the Government’s motor insurance reform programme. She worked in the insurance industry in Dublin and London before being recruited into CIE in the 1990s.