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Cork workers celebrate as Quinn Healthcare sale saves 334 jobs

THERE were celebrations in Cork city this evening after a deal that secured 334 jobs was confirmed.

The jobs are at Quinn Healthcare, which has been taken over by insurance giant Swiss Re.

It was confirmed this morning that talks had been successfully completed.

In a statement, Quinn Healthcare said the deal secures the current employment in the southern capital.

The deal also, the statement said, reinforces competition in the market.

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly has welcomed the sale for the certainty that it will bring to the health insurance market.

Dr Reilly said it would also bring certainty to Quinn customers and said it was his intention to reform the private health insurance market.

Managing Director of Quinn Healthcare Dónal Clancy said: "This is great news for our members and the Quinn healthcare team alike."

Swiss Re's Bruce Hodkinson said: "With our global stature and experience in life and health insurance we see this as an excellent fit with our business."

The terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Quinn Healthcare - formerly BUPA Ireland - is the second largest health insurer in Ireland with nearly 500,000 members.

The company said it will be 'business as usual' for members following the sale.

Quinn Healthcare also announced last month that it is to raise its prices by an average of 12pc.

The company said the price hike, which comes into effect from January 1, was in response to continued pressure, including ongoing increases to the Health Insurance Levy