Hospital shuts in VHI row
A €90m private hospital that opened just five months ago suspended operations last night, laying off 75 staff.
Cork Medical Centre (CMC) effectively shut down yesterday after last-ditch talks failed to deliver a critical insurance cover deal with VHI.
The hospital will now be mothballed for a month amid hopes that fresh talks might deliver a compromise agreement.
The suspension came just 24 hours after CMC's director James Sheehan offered to match the recent price package agreed between the VHI and a Dublin hospital.
CMC last month placed its 75 staff on protective notice after failing to agree a cover deal with the VHI.
The hospital warned that its operations would not be viable without such an agreement being in place.
While the Mahon-based hospital has agreements with Quinn Healthcare and Aviva, it acknowledged that the bulk of the procedures it had targeted would involve VHI patients.
The hospital -- hailed as one of the most hi-tech medical facilities in Europe -- had promised to employ 525 full- and part-time staff by 2013.