EU approves joint venture between Irish Life and GP and Dental Service Centric

The EU has approved a collaboration between insurer Irish Life and general medicine (GP) provider Centric Health to offer a mix of remote and face-to-face care.

The European Commission said the new joint venture, known as Care Connect, would help reduce primary care costs and improve patients’ experience of primary care.

According to a statement by the European Commission, it will “design and implement treatment plans for primary health care”.

“The proposed acquisition would not raise any competition concerns due to its limited impact on the market,” the Commission said.

The government announced in the budget that it is extending free GP care to all children aged six and seven this year and will extend it to those earning €46,000 or less from April next year.

That means almost half the population – or an additional 500 million people – will have access to free medical care.

Centric Health has 68 locations across Ireland with a network of 250 doctors providing general medicine and dental services, emergency care, radiology and professional services to over 200,000 patients across the country and the UK.

At the launch of Care Connect this summer, Centric Chief Executive Maurice Cox said there is a “significant appetite” for what he calls “digital-physical” healthcare – a mix of remote and in-person consultations.

Irish Life Health’s chief executive, Ger Davis, said at the time that the merger was an important strategic move for the company and its nearly half a million customers.

It is the first of its kind for Irish Life Health since it became part of Irish Life Group in 2016.

Irish Life Group is Ireland’s largest life insurance and pensions provider and has over 1.4 million customers.

A new company, Carepath Connect, was formed in July this year. The Irish Life/Centric merger was notified to the EU in November.

Canadian-owned Irish Life Group and Centric, part of global investment management group Rothschild & Co, will acquire Carepath by purchasing shares in the newly formed company.

Irish Life Health recently became the first Irish insurer to announce a rate increase, saying the cost will increase for those renewing or new to their health plans from early January. EU approves joint venture between Irish Life and GP and Dental Service Centric

Fry Electronics Team

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