The Taoiseach said the Government would have to see what kind of contract Quinn Direct was putting forward to buy BUPA Ireland before it deals with the current health insurance situation.

He said the Government would have to see this before it decided on what action to take and it was also taking legal advice on the matter.

However he said the Government also had to take into account the employment position and the fact that 400,000 people had policies with BUPA Ireland. 

Mr Ahern told the Dáil they would have to see what structure Quinn Direct would have for the new corporate entity, how it fit into the Health Insurance Acts of 1994 and 2003 or if it was outside the legislation.