Probe into anti-competitive conduct in private nursing home sector

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has confirmed that it is examining information it received about potential anti-competitive conduct in the private nursing home sector.

It comes as the public accounts committee is to discuss governance issues with executives from the Health Information and Quality Authority today.

The committee wants to examine further matters relating to the reported attendance of Hiqa chairman Brian McEnery with members of Nursing Homes Ireland in October 2015.

The CCPC is an independent statutory body with a dual mandate to enforce competition and consumer protection law in Ireland.

The commission released a statement yesterday evening stating it had been monitoring the situation in the private nursing home following recent media reports.

It revealed that it had been provided with information in the last few days that raised “serious concerns.”

The statement reads: “If the CCPC finds sufficient grounds it will proceed to open an investigation to establish whether a breach of competition law has occurred.”

The CCPC said it could not provide any further comment on the matter as it was an early stage of its examination.

PAC chairman Seán Fleming said it met executives from Hiqa last month to discuss organisational governance and management of conflicts of interest.

“The committee was quite satisfied with the responses it received. However, a newspaper article which appeared since then has raised the concerns of the committee in relation to conflicts of interest,” said Mr Fleming.

“The committee wishes to examine further matters relating to the reported attendance of Hiqa chairman Mr Brian McEnery with members of Nursing homes Ireland in October 2015.

“The purpose of today’s session is to clarify the extent, if any, to which there was a real or perceived conflict of interest on that occasion and whether HIQA’s governance standard is appropriate or sufficient to manage any conflict of interest.”

Nursing Home Ireland said last night it would co-operate fully with the CCPC.


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