INDEPENDENT NEWS

Auckland DHBs Joining Forces To Tackle Fraud

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2011 11:31 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
18 August 2011
Auckland DHBs Joining Forces To Tackle Fraud
Auckland's district health boards have joined forces to tackle fraud in the region's public health system.
The three DHBs - Counties Manukau, Auckland and Waitemata - have signed up to a public hotline (0800 424 888) to tackle the small but growing problem of fraud. Nationally, more than $11 million in health sector funds were recovered last year from fraud investigations.
Northern Region Internal Audit Manager Ramon Manzano says the hotline, set up and run by the Ministry of Health, would make it easy for staff and members of the public to call in and report - confidentially - any suspicions of fraud.
"Whilst fraud always has an impact - on organisations as well as individuals - healthcare is the one sector where fraud has the most direct negative impact on people's lives."
Fraudulent activity uncovered in the region included the recent case of an Auckland pharmacist who pleaded guilty to 93 charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage, filing false claims worth nearly $70,000.
"Fraud is not solely limited to people working within the DHB or wider health sector - it can also involve people obtaining treatment they are not legally entitled to receive.
"While we do our best to ensure that our systems are robust to prevent fraud from occurring in the first place, healthcare is a complex sector. Each instance of fraud uncovered provides us with a learning opportunity to fix any gaps we may have in the system."
Calls to the hotline would be managed by the Ministry of Health's Audit and Compliance unit and reported to the DHB for investigation.
The unit's Acting National Manager Paul Johnstone said fraud hotlines have worked well in the past and have resulted in a number of successful prosecutions, saving millions of dollars in public health funds.
Over recent years there have been a number of prosecutions in the Auckland region involving a wide range of people, including health providers, members of the public, DHB employees and contractors.
"The aim is to mobilise the honest majority to prevent vital funds from being taken away from our health services," says Mr Johnstone, "We are encouraging all members of staff and the public to be vigilant and report genuine suspicions of fraud.
"Health fraud ultimately hurts patients as it diverts funds away from providing healthcare services to our communities."
Funds recovered will go back into the health budget.
If you have any concerns about health fraud, call the hotline on 0800 424 888 or email fraudhotline@moh.govt.nz. All calls and emails are confidential.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector
By: New Zealand Government
Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion
By: New Zealand Government
Speech To China Business Summit
By: New Zealand Government
Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate
By: New Zealand Government
Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer
By: New Zealand National Party
Independent Review To Explore Future For Local Government
By: New Zealand Government
PM Ardern And PM Morrison - Commencement Of Two-way Quarantine-free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand
By: New Zealand Government
Pay Restrictions Punish Public Servants Who Protected Us From Covid-19
By: PSA
Bloated Bureaucracy Needs Reigning In
By: ACT New Zealand
Don’t Spend The Money, Grant
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
Pre-Budget Speech To Wellington Chamber Of Commerce
By: New Zealand Government
Future For Local Government Initiative A Historic Opportunity For New Zealand
By: Local Government NZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media