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Liquidator to be appointed to Ireland's newest private hospital

The €90m Cork Medical Centre – which never fully opened after the VHI refused to offer cover – will enter liquidation this week.

THE COUNTRY’S NEWEST private hospital is expected to enter liquidation this week, after its operators failed to resolve an ongoing dispute with the VHI about offering coverage to its members.

Cork Medical Centre, which was due to open for full inpatient services last month, had been forced to shut and lay off its staff last month after VHI refused to offer insurance coverage to any of its customers seeking the hospital’s services.

Its operators, Sheehan Medical, had been forced to lay off the hospital’s 75 staff as a result – and is now set to appoint a liquidator to the hospital, according to the Sunday Business Post.

Its report, by Susan Mitchell, says it believes KPMG is to be appointed to liquidate the assets, after hopes of reaching a last-minute agreement with the National Treatment Purchase Fund appeared to fall through.

Though CMC had been able to reach agreements with Quinn and Aviva last year, the VHI had said there was excess capacity in other hospitals and refused to offer coverage to the hospital’s operations for its own customers.

The VHI said it had informed Sheehan Medical of that position in 2009, but a spokesman for Sheehan Medical disputed this and said the VHI had encouraged the clinic’s construction given the age of the other two private facilities in Cork.

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Health minister James Reilly has cited the case of CMC’s difficulties with the VHI as an example of how the latter’s dominant market position needed to be addressed.

Read more in today’s Sunday Business Post >

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Gavan Reilly

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