The European Court of First Instance (CFI) has dismissed a challenge by the private insurance operator, BUPA, to the Irish health insurance system. BUPA claimed that the “risk equalisation system” designed to compensate the Irish incumbent VHI for having an older, more expensive client base, was an illegal subsidy under EU State aid rules. The Commission approved the system in 2003 finding that it was a “service of general economic interest” as it enabled all persons living in Ireland to receive private health care regardless of age, health or gender. The CFI agreed and ruled that the system was necessary to ensure that private insurers shared the burdens associated with providing a universal service that prohibited persons being charged or even rejected according to risk.