Monday 17 December 2018

The Punt: Beacon Hospital signals its ambitions

The Beacon Hospital in Dublin
The Beacon Hospital in Dublin Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Beacon Hospital is ringing the changes after being bought by Denis O'Brien earlier this year with the appointment of a new board that looks hand-picked to position the business for expansion in the private medical market nationally.

The Beacon is making AIB managing director Colm Doherty the hospital's non-executive chairman, along with new three other new non-executive board members. Mr Doherty is already a director of Sitserv, also owned by Denis O'Brien.

Also coming in to beef up the hospital's board are the former chairwoman of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, Maureen Lynott, and Niall Devereux, who helped set up private insurer Bupa Ireland back in 1996 and who is currently chief financial officer of Topaz. The third new non-exec is Dermot Hayes, who again works with Mr O'Brien at his investment firm Island Capital.

Beacon co-founders Michael Cullen and Prof Mark Redmond are also joining the new board.

Mr Cullen is the hospital's chief executive while Prof Mark Redmond, a cardiothoracic surgeon, is the chief of staff.

The new chairman headed up AIB's Capital Markets division before being appointed as AIB chief executive in 2009, replacing Eugene Sheehy. Mr Doherty stepped down after the bank was nationalised.

Dowdall's GloHealth hoping to sign up switchers

THe Punt hears that GloHealth, which is headed up by Jim Dowdall, inset, is on the cusp of signing a deal to offer discounts to people who have signed up for the One Big Switch campaign.

One Big Switch now has close to 20,000 people signed up, with the aim of getting discounts for those who are on board. VHI, Laya and Aviva were approached about offering a deal.

Mr Dowdall will be hoping the link-up will mean his Glo operation will benefit from a large number of switchers and those entering the market for the first time. The legislation underpinning health insurance means that any discounts finally negotiated between One Big Switch and Glo will have to be made available to all.

One Big Switch includes former VHI boss Oliver Tattan as one of its founders. Sarah Ryan of the campaign has stressed the health insurance affordability crisis in Ireland is being driven by rapidly rising prices.

Previously, almost 70,000 people signed up for the One Big Switch campaign for electricity which secured those who went ahead with the offer savings of hundreds of euro on their bills.

Latecomers at the forum

The Punt had a very interesting and enjoyable time at the Deloitte/Enterprise Ireland ceo forum yesterday, but even the best conferences have their hiccups.

Storyful founder Mark Little was the mc on the day, and he gave quite an introduction to Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, talking at length about his personal knowledge of Bruton's passion for business.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Richard Bruton!"

Cue disaster - Mr Bruton hadn't actually arrived at the event yet. To be fair, Little handled it well, cheerfully admitting that sometimes you have to wing it at events like the forum.

Bruton glided in fairly discreetly a couple of minutes later and gave a nice speech about Irish business and its success abroad.

Also a tad late for proceedings was Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary.

"It's a great pleasure to be here this morning, allowing for an accident to the entry of the M1 tunnel," Mr O'Leary said.

"I think it's always unforgivable for someone running an airline to show up five minutes late, particularly for a conference," he added.

But the Punt reckons most people in the audience forgave O'Leary as his speech was an absolute riot.

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