Bon Secours' profits fall 36pc as patients ditch health cover
A decline in the number of patients with private health insurance contributed to a 36pc decline in profits at the country's largest privately owned hospital group in 2012.
New figures lodged by Bon Secours Health Systems Ltd show profits fell 36pc to €7.4m in 2012 while revenues rose about 1pc to €223.3m.
The directors state that the income and surplus were achieved "in a difficult trading environment".
The figures show that the firm's profits decreased from €11.6m to €7.4m.
The group operates 850 beds in privately run hospitals in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Tralee employing over 2,700.
The directors' report states that the group is facing a number of challenges including lower yields on claim submissions to health insurers; unrecoverable inflationary costs such as payroll increments; reductions in the numbers holding private insurance cover, augmented by the tendency of others to downgrade the level of insurance cover held.
The report points out that "as a not-for-profit organisation, Bon Secours reinvests all surpluses in upgrading and developing its hospital facilities".
It added: "In 2012, €6.27m was spent by the organisation on capital projects and the board has already announced plans to proceed with a capital development programme of almost €60m at its Cork and Tralee hospitals to be funded from existing resources."