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Mr Downey will take on the role from 15 March if ratified by the Oireachtas Health Committee.
In accordance with Government policy on appointments to State Boards, Mr Downey will appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children tomorrow.
Mr Downey has served on the Board of VHI for the last four years, and previously was Chairman of the HSE for five years. He has over thirty years’ experience in business affairs and management practice.
He is a former President of the Federation of Irish Employers, a former Director and Trustee of IBEC, a former Chairman of the Irish Medical Devices Association and a former Member of the Labour Relations Commission.
Minister Varadkar commented: “This is a critical time in the VHI’s application for authorisation by the Central Bank of Ireland. It faces a number of significant challenges but is going in the right direction with increasing numbers of policyholders, and is now profitable again. Liam Downey will build on the work of the outgoing Chairman, Martin Sisk, and use his strong business acumen and experience to drive growth at the VHI. I wish him well in his new position.”
The minister thanked Mr Sisk for leading the VHI Board “during a very challenging period for the industry and the company”, adding that Mr Sisk had overseen “significant improvements in VHI’s cost containment processes, prepared VHI for authorisation, and leaves the VHI in a much stronger position to face the challenges ahead”.