From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British United Provident Association Limited
TypeCompany limited by guarantee
IndustryHealth Insurance
Founded1947; 76 years ago (1947)
Key people
Roger Davis (Group Chairman)
Iñaki Ereño (Group CEO)
ServicesHealth insurance
Healthcare services
RevenueIncrease £12.9 billion (2021)[1]
Increase £423 million (2021)[1]
Total assetsDecrease £16.6 billion (2021)[1]
Total equityIncrease £7.46 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees
84,000 (2021)[1]

Bupa /bpə/, legally British United Provident Association Limited, is a British multinational health insurance and healthcare company with over 43 million customers worldwide.[1]

Bupa's origins and global headquarters are in the United Kingdom. Its main countries of operation are Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Turkey, Brazil, Ireland, Mexico and the United States. It also has a presence across Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, including joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and India.[2]

Bupa is a private company limited by guarantee. It has no shareholders and reinvests its profits.[3]

Health insurance represents 71% of Bupa's revenues worldwide and 24.4 million of its customers. Bupa runs various health provision services for a further 19.2 million customers worldwide (21% of its revenue) including hospitals (primarily in Spain, Poland and Chile), outpatient clinics, dental centres and digital services. Bupa also runs aged care facilities in four countries; the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain and New Zealand, which make up 8% of its revenue.[1]

It was ranked 83rd out of 750 global companies in the 2020 Forbes World's Best Employers List.[4]


Early history[edit]

Bupa (originally the British United Provident Association) was established in 1947 when seventeen British provident associations joined together to provide healthcare for the general public. The firm is a private company limited by guarantee; it has no shareholders, and any profits (after tax) are reinvested in the business.[1]

The services offered by Bupa began as private medical insurance, offering policies to individuals, companies and other organisations, and eventually expanded to include privately run hospitals, outpatient clinics, health assessments, GP services, dental centres, digital health, aged care and other health services.[1]

Growth and international expansion[edit]


Bupa has expanded internationally from its UK operations.[5] Malta was the site of Bupa's first overseas business in 1971[6] and it started insurance operations in Hong Kong in 1976.[7]


In 1982, Bupa International was launched to provide worldwide medical cover to people working outside their home country. This business division is now branded as 'Bupa Global'.

In 1989, Bupa acquired 'Sanitas' S.A. de Seguros,[8] now Spain's second largest private medical insurer. This has expanded to become a combined health insurance, hospital, clinic, dental and aged care business operating under the Sanitas brand.


During the 1990s, Bupa continued to expand internationally. An insurance business was established in Thailand which was sold in 2017 to Aetna.[9] Bupa Ireland, a health insurance business, was established in 1996 but sold in 2007.

Bupa also diversified in the UK into care homes with the acquisition of 200 homes through Community Nursing Homes, Goldsborough Healthcare Group[10] and Care First Group.[11]

In 1997, Bupa entered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in partnership with the Nazer Group to form Bupa Arabia. In 2008, Bupa Arabia was listed on the Tadawul, the Saudi stock market. Bupa Arabia is now the leading health insurance provider in the KSA. Bupa owns 43.25% of this business.[12][13]


In the 2000s, Bupa entered the Australian health insurance market, opened hospitals in Spain and expanded its network of clinics and care homes in the UK.[6]

In 2007, Bupa completed the sale of its UK hospitals business to Spire Healthcare.[14] Bupa's rationale was that the scale of both its UK hospitals and insurance businesses meant that they were becoming increasingly constrained by being part of the same group.

Significant acquisitions followed. The largest of these was the merger of Bupa's insurance business in Australia with the insurance group MBF to form what was then Australia's second largest private medical insurer.[15] In 2011, Bupa Australia brought together the insurance brands MBF, HBA and Mutual Community under the Bupa brand. Bupa acquired the Amity Group of care homes in Australia in 2007.[16]

In 2010, Bupa launched a partnership in India with Max India Ltd.[17] In 2019, Bupa completed the transition to a new partner, True North, while retaining a 44.42% stake in the business, which is now branded Niva Bupa.[18]

Since 2010[edit]

In 2012, Bupa acquired the largest private healthcare network in Poland, LUX MED, from the private equity fund Mid Europa Partners for €400m.[19][20]

Other acquisitions in this period included: Dental Corporation,[21] Australia and New Zealand's largest dental provider;[22] Quality HealthCare, a private clinic network in Hong Kong;[23] a 49% stake in Highway to Health, Inc., a US health insurer specialising in providing international health insurance for US residents planning to live or work abroad.[24]

In February 2015, Bupa acquired a controlling share in Chilean private healthcare network Cruz Blanca.[25][26][27] In 2016, Bupa became the sole owner of Cruz Blanca[28] (branded as Bupa Chile[29]). Bupa Chile opened a major hospital in Santiago in 2018.[30]

In 2016, Bupa acquired Care Plus, a health insurance business in Brazil.[31][32]

In the UK, in 2016, Bupa sold its home healthcare medication delivery division to Celesio AG.[33]

In 2017, Bupa completed the purchase of Oasis Dental Care, the UK's leading private dental provider with 380 practices, for £835 million, from Bridgepoint, a Private Equity group.[34] As a result Bupa became a major dental provider. The business has since grown to around 490 clinics in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.[35][36] Bupa operates dental practices in the Republic of Ireland under the Smiles Dental brand.[37]

In the UK, in August 2017, it sold 122 care homes, with 9,000 beds, to HC-One for £300 million.[38][39] 22 further homes were sold to Advinia Healthcare.[40]

In 2018, Sanitas acquired Nectar Seguros,[41] a Spanish private health insurer.[42]

In January 2019, Bupa acquired Acibadem Sigorta in Turkey. Bupa Acıbadem Sigorta[43] is Turkey's second largest health insurer with both corporate and individual customers. Headquartered in Istanbul, it insures 600,000 people.[44][45] In December 2020, Bupa México announced the acquisition of BBVA México's medical services provider Vitamédica.[46] In January 2021, in the UK, the transfer of CS Healthcare's business and 17,500 members to Bupa completed.[47]

Iñaki Ereño became Group CEO in January 2021.[48][49] Ereño was previously the CEO of Bupa's Europe and Latin America division.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting war, Bupa announced that it would be ending relations with businesses in Russian and Russian-controlled businesses.[50]

Through its business in Poland, Lux/Med, Bupa has been working with the authorities and other institutions[51] to offer urgent free medical assistance to refugees from Ukraine through its 258 medical centres and 13 hospitals.[52]  It has set up teams of paramedics, doctors and medical equipment to solve the problems of the refugees and their families, as well as providing employment for Ukrainian medial staff in its facilities.[53]

Operations and business structure[edit]

Bupa Building in Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

This is taken from published corporate information by Bupa[54] and regulatory reports,[55] financial disclosures.[56][57][58] Bupa's global operations across its group are structured across three divisions ("Market Units") together with a number of other business and partnerships.[59]

Asia Pacific[edit]

  • Bupa Health Insurance, with 3.9 million customers, is a leading health insurance provider in Australia and also offers health insurance for overseas workers and visitors.
  • Bupa Health Services is a health provision business, comprising dental, optical, audiology, medical assessment services and health care for the Australian Defence Force.
  • Bupa Villages and Aged Care Australia cares for around 5,300 residents across 59 homes and 1 retirement village.
  • Bupa Villages and Aged Care New Zealand cares for around 3,300 residents in 49 homes and 37 retirement villages in New Zealand.

The company's main office is in Melbourne. Other major offices are in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.

  • Bupa Hong Kong comprises a health insurance business with around 468,000 customers and a health provision business with 89 medical centres providing services to around 890,000 customers.[2]

Europe and Latin America[edit]

  • Sanitas Seguros is the second largest health insurance provider in Spain, with 1.9 m customers.
  • Sanitas Hospitales and New Services comprise four private hospitals, 29 private medical clinics and one public hospital under a Public-Private partnership model.
  • Sanitas Dental provides dental services through 200 centres and third-party networks in Spain.
  • Sanitas Mayores cares for around 5,300 people in 43 care homes and six day care centres in Spain.
  • LUX MED is a private healthcare business in Poland, with 124,000 customers  operating in health funding and provision, serving 7.6m customers through 13 hospitals and 258 private clinics.
  • Bupa Chile includes a health insurer serving 860,000 customers and offers health provision services to 2.8 million customers across four hospitals and 36 medical clinics.
  • Bupa Acıbadem Sigorta is Turkey's second largest health insurer, with products for corporate and individual customers, and has around 986,000 customers.
  • Care Plus is a health insurance company in Brazil, with around 143,000 customers, concentrated in São Paulo.
  • Bupa Mexico is a health insurer offering private medical insurance to individuals and corporates in Mexico, with around 77,000 customers.
  • Bupa Global Latin America provides international health insurance, local health insurance, and travel insurance to around 72,000 customers. Main operations include Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile, as well as a health provision business in Peru.

The Europe and Latin America's division's headquarters are in Madrid, and since 2021 has been headed by Iñaki Peralta.[60]

Bupa Global and UK[edit]

  • Bupa UK Insurance is a health insurer in the UK, with 2.3m customers.
  • Bupa Dental Care is a leading provider of private dentistry with 480 dental centres across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
  • Bupa Care Services cares for around 6,000 residents in 123 care homes, and 10 Richmond care villages in the UK. 
  • Bupa Health Services comprises 50 health clinics and the Cromwell Hospital in London.
  • Bupa Global serves over 510,000 International Private Medical Insurance customers and administers travel insurance and medical assistance for individuals, small businesses and corporate customers.

Bupa has its global and UK head offices in central London. In the UK, there are also major offices in Staines, Salford Quays, Brighton, Bristol and Leeds.

Other businesses[edit]

Bupa also has associate health insurance businesses in Saudi Arabia (Bupa Arabia) and India (Niva Bupa).


Bupa supports a number of grant-giving foundations in different countries which work on health and social issues. During the COVID19 pandemic there was an extra effort to support communities through its charitable foundations in Australia, UK and Spain. A Healthy Communities Fund was established, with a special emphasis on mental health and wellbeing in schools.[61][62]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Bupa UK Foundation[63] focuses on grant-giving and charity partnerships around mental health. These include Beyond Words for World Mental Health Day supported by Cheltenham Festivals, Mind, National Literacy Trust.[64][65]


The Bupa Health Foundation is one of the leading charitable foundations dedicated to health in Australia.[66] The foundation invests in research that claims to improve health and it collaborates with researchers across academic, industry and healthcare communities. It advocates for researchers, organisations and initiatives that are improving health capacity building by developing skills and networks of health and medical researchers.[67] Over the last 10 years the foundation has invested more than AUS$35 million in partnerships.[68][69] Focus areas include youth mental health including partnerships with Kids Helpline, Macquarie University Centre for Emotional Health, Edith Cowan University.[70] [71]


The Fundacion Sanitas focuses on inclusive sports, the recognition of young doctors in Spain, the health and well-being of caregivers of people with dementia, cooperation in health and research in cardiovascular diseases.[72]


United Kingdom[edit]

Bupa has been criticised by some judges, coroners and regulators regarding failures to meet regulatory standards in some of its residential care homes.[73][74][75][76][77][78][79]

Staff and families of residents in some care homes have criticised Bupa for allegedly prioritising profits to the detriment of care.[80][81]

In 2017, there was a data breach involving health insurance customers in the Bupa Global division.[82]

In 2018, Bupa UK was fined £1,500,000 after a care home resident died after contracting Legionnaire's disease.[83][84]

Bupa has been fined over £3 million by UK government agencies since 2013[85]


Bupa's operations in Australia have been the subject of regulatory action and criticism in news media, particularly in 2018 and 2019.[86]

Previous issues and allegations made include:

  • Neglect of elderly patients or residents.[87] Complaints by the Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck that Bupa had persistently failed to meet regulatory standards. Bupa's ANZ CEO gave an apology on ABC for "totally unacceptable" failings .[88] There were other incidents including infection related incidents and assault. For example, a carer in New South Wales was found to have assaulted an 82 year old resident; the family of the resident put CCTV there.[89][90]
  • Charging aged care residents in 20 of its homes for "extra" services that were not ultimately delivered to 4,306 residents.[91] Bupa's apology and explanation of the issue are here.[92] In May 2020, the Australian Federal Court approved a AUS$6m settlement between Bupa and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).[93]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Bupa. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b Full Year Results Presentation 2021
  3. ^ "Financial results". Bupa. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Forbes World's Best Employers List". Forbes. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  5. ^ Oliver Wyman Insurance Insights 16th edition, www.oliverwyman.de
  6. ^ a b "Our history". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  7. ^ "About Us | Bupa Hong Kong". www.bupa.com.hk.
  8. ^ "BUPA Profile | Public Services International Research Unit". www.psiru.org. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Aetna acquires Bupa Thailand". Life Insurance International. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Goldsborough agrees pounds 76m offer from Bupa". The Independent. 7 June 1997.
  11. ^ "Fresh offer from Bupa secures Care First". The Independent. 23 December 1997.
  12. ^ "Bupa Investments raises stake in Saudi's Bupa Arabia for $134mln". www.zawya.com. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Bupa completes 4% stake increase in Bupa Arabia". Bupa - an international healthcare company. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  14. ^ Kollewe, Julia (18 June 2007). "BUPA sells hospitals to private equity firm". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  15. ^ "MBF-BUPA merger gets court go ahead". ABC News (Australia). 14 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  16. ^ "Amity Group to become Bupa Care Services in Australia". Aged Care Guide.
  17. ^ "Max India". www.maxannualreports.com.
  18. ^ "Max India sells its stake in Max Bupa but policyholders needn't worry". mint. 3 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Mid Europa Completes the Sale of LUX MED to Bupa". Mid Europa Partners. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  20. ^ "LUX MED is a part of the Bupa". www.luxmed.pl. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  21. ^ "About Bupa Dental Corporation". Network of AU & NZ Dentists. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Bupa acquires Dental Corp". 20 December 2012.
  23. ^ "Investegate |Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA Announcements | Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA: Bupa to acquire Quality HealthCare Medical Service". investegate.co.uk.
  24. ^ "Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies, Bupa Join to Create Largest Global Healthcare Network, Covering 190 Countries". www.bcbs.com.
  25. ^ "Grupo inglés Bupa Sanitas negocia compra de Cruz Blanca y pagará alto premio por acción" [English group Bupa Sanitas negotiates purchase of Cruz Blanca and will pay high premium per share]. La Segunda (in Spanish). 2 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  26. ^ Magazine, iPMI. "Bupa Completes Acquisition Of Cruz Blanca Salud, Chile - iPMI Magazine". ipmimagazine.com.
  27. ^ "Bupa to acquire remaining shares in Bupa Chile". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  28. ^ "Investegate |Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA Announcements | Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA: Bupa acquires further shares in Bupa Chile". investegate.co.uk.
  29. ^ "Bupa in Chile". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  30. ^ "Centro Médico". clinicabupasantiago.cl.
  31. ^ "Care Plus, Brazil's leading premium health insurer, joins Bupa". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  32. ^ "Bupa enters Brazilian market with deal for Care Plus | Valor International". valor.com.br.
  33. ^ "Celesio in exclusivity to acquire Bupa's home care division". Health Investor. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  34. ^ "Bupa snaps up dentistry group Oasis for £835m from private equity house Bridgepoint". City AM. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Bupa acquires nine new UK and Ireland dental practices". Dentistry. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Bupa Dental Care acquires 13 new practices". Dentistry.co.uk. 18 July 2019.
  37. ^ "Smiles Dental | Smiles Dental Ireland | Dentist Practice". Smiles Dental.
  38. ^ Bow, Michael (23 August 2017). "HC-One seals Bupa £300m care home deal despite frets on debt". Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  39. ^ Withers, Iain (23 August 2017). "Bupa sells 122 care homes for £300m". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  40. ^ "Advinia acquires 22 Bupa homes". 20 October 2017.
  41. ^ "Sanitas completes acquisition of Néctar Seguros de Salud". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  42. ^ "Sanitas adquiere Néctar Seguros de Salud, tras la aprobación de la DGS". 8 October 2018.
  43. ^ "Bupa Acıbadem Sigorta Homepage". bupaacibadem.com.tr.
  44. ^ Team, Editorial. "Bupa to acquire Turkish health insurer Acibadem Sigorta". ITIJ.
  45. ^ "Investegate |Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA Announcements | Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA: Bupa completes acquisition of Acibadem Sigorta". investegate.co.uk.
  46. ^ "BUPA MÉXICO ADQUIERE LA PROVEEDORA DE SERVICIOS MÉDICOS DE BBVA MÉXICO, VITAMÉDICA". Sanitas (in Spanish). 3 December 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  47. ^ "Regulator approves transfer of CS Healthcare's members and business to Bupa". Bupa - an international healthcare company. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  48. ^ "Bupa announces Evelyn Bourke is retiring as Group CEO, and appoints Iñaki Ereño from 1 January 2021 (Bupa)". 10 September 2020.
  49. ^ "#ForbesLive: Iñaki Ereño (Sanitas) próximo invitado". 6 April 2020.
  50. ^ "Bupa ends Russian business deals but still treating policyholders". Health & Protection. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  51. ^ The Star (2002-03-18) "How Poland's business community is helping Ukrainians"
  52. ^ Khan, Dr Amir. "Medics bring healthcare and hope to Ukrainians fleeing war". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  53. ^ Kurasinska, Lidia. "Polish Businesses And Ordinary Citizens Scramble To Help Ukrainian Refugees". Forbes. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  54. ^ "Our organisation". Bupa - an international healthcare company.
  55. ^ Bupa Group solvency financial condition report
  56. ^ 2020 Financial Year Report Presentation, Bupa.com
  57. ^ "Bupa Finance plc half year financial results 2020 (Bupa)". 7 August 2020.
  58. ^ "Bupa Finance plc Half Year Report 2020 – Company Announcement - FT.com". markets.ft.com.
  59. ^ "Investegate |Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA Announcements | Brit Utd ProvAscBUPA: Bupa Half Year Report 2019". investegate.co.uk.
  60. ^ Mendieta, Miguel Moreno (11 July 2022). "Iñaki Peralta: "Queremos tener cada vez más centros médicos propios"". Cinco Días (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 May 2023.
  61. ^ Libatique, Roxanne. "Bupa backs UNICEF's COVID-19 vaccination campaign". www.insurancebusinessmag.com. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  62. ^ "Bupa COVID-19 update supporting UK customers". Healthwise Ltd. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  63. ^ "Bupa UK Foundation Homepage". bupafoundation.org.
  64. ^ "Bupa UK Foundation & Mind partnership". mind.org.uk.
  65. ^ Birkwood, Susannah. "Bupa UK Foundation funding programme opens for applications". thirdsector.co.uk.
  66. ^ Consultant, Grant (17 August 2015). "Bupa Health Foundation Grants Program". Bulletpoint. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  67. ^ "About the foundation". www.bupa.com.au. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  68. ^ "Bupa Health Foundation - Highlights Report 2018". E-brochures.
  69. ^ "About the foundation". www.bupa.com.au. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  70. ^ Taylor, Jessica. "Bupa Health Foundation: Grants Program 2019".
  71. ^ "Our Funders". Kids Helpline. 23 November 2017.
  72. ^ "Fundación Sanitas".
  73. ^ "Dehydration risk to care home residents". BBC News. 24 September 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  74. ^ "'At risk' home residents moved". BBC News. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  75. ^ "Bupa cost-cutting 'disgraceful'". BBC News. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  76. ^ "Abuse-hit care home report was delayed". BBC News. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  77. ^ "Care unit closure after 'unsafe' report". BBC News. 2 September 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  78. ^ "Unsafe care home put in special measures". BBC News. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  79. ^ "Troubled nursing home closed by Bupa". BBC News. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  80. ^ "Breaking the Silence 3 | Compassion in Care". compassionincare.com. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  81. ^ "Scandal-hit care home to reopen". edinburghnews.scotsman.com. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  82. ^ "Bupa data breach hits 500,000 customers". BBC News. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  83. ^ "Bupa fined £3m over Legionnaire's death". BBC News. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  84. ^ "Kenneth Ibbetson: Bupa fine over Legionnaire's death halved". BBC News. 11 October 2019.
  85. ^ "Violation Tracker UK Parent Company Summary". Violation Tracker UK. Good Jobs First. 3 August 2023.
  86. ^ "Aged Care Updates". Aged Care Updates. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  87. ^ Murphy, Neil; Bassey, Amardeep (4 September 2019). "Cancer patient found with maggots crawling out of his ears at nursing home". HullLive.
  88. ^ Connolly, Anne; Stewart, John (12 September 2019). "CEO of Bupa says sorry for 'totally unacceptable' neglect and assaults in aged care". ABC News.
  89. ^ "CEO of Bupa says sorry for 'totally unacceptable' neglect and assaults in aged care". ABC News. 12 September 2019.
  90. ^ "Bupa's aged care homes failing standards across Australia - ABC News". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 September 2019.
  91. ^ "Bupa Aged Care faces ACCC action over alleged false claims at aged care centres". abc.net.au. 16 April 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  92. ^ "Information for residents and families about the issue with 'Extra Services' in some Bupa care home". www.bupaagedcare.com.au. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  93. ^ "Federal court approves settlement between ACCC and Bupa". healthdispatch.com.au.

External links[edit]