Factual Background This case concerns private medical insurance and its operation in the Irish market. Private medical insurance ("PMI") was formally introduced in Ireland in 1957 with the establishment of the Voluntary Health Insurance Board (the "VHI"), in order to enable persons not entitled to the State health insurance system to be able to obtain cover for the costs of hospitalisation. At that time, the VHI was the only operator in the Irish health insurance market which had a licence from the Minister of Health enabling it to offer PMI services, making the VHI a statutory monopoly. The PMI market in Ireland was subsequently liberalised and in 1997, Bupa Ireland Limited ("BPI") became operational and has since been the VHI's principal competitor in the Irish PMI market. In
The Irish High Court rules that actions regarding State aid measures in the private medical insurance sector to which the EU Commission did not object can not be brought before the national courts, as they fall under Art. 86(2) of the EC treaty (Bupa Ireland)
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