News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Health Benefits Successful In Fraud Case

A guilty verdict was delivered last evening by the jury in the Wellington District Court case against the principal and three company representatives of New Zealand Diagnostics Ltd, a Waikanae based medical supply company. The verdicts were welcomed by the government agency that brought the prosecution, Health Benefits.

Health Benefits, a business unit of the Ministry of Health, laid criminal charges against the principal, Cavan Haines, his son Quentin Haines and two other company representatives, Joy Jones and Franciscus Buissink of New Zealand Diagnostics Ltd, of conspiracy to defraud. The fraud centred around New Zealand Diagnostics making false claims for the supply of certain subsidised medical equipment to health professionals. The period over which this fraud occurred was between 1994 and 1998. The amount defrauded was $5.5million.

Health Benefits is the agency responsible for receiving, assessing and making payment on claims to health professionals and medical supply companies for a range of government subsidised services, medications and equipment.

"Health Benefits is naturally pleased with the outcome of this case as we believed our investigation uncovered more than sufficient evidence for a compelling case against New Zealand Diagnostics," said Health Benefits Chief Operating Officer, Alastair McIlwrick

"More importantly however we have ended a major fraud, the scale of which seriously disadvantaged the general public by denying services, medication and equipment that could have been provided with the money that was fraudulently obtained by New Zealand Diagnostics

Alastair McIlwrick said the actions of the principal and company representatives of New Zealand Diagnostics not only defrauded the taxpayer it also cast doubt on a system of claims and payments that, due to its range and complexity, of necessity has to be based on a good measure of trust.

"Health Benefits are the first to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of claims made by health professionals and the like are legal, honest and correctly submitted. In return Health Benefits does its utmost to ensure correctly lodged claims are expeditiously processed and paid."

"However those organisations or individuals who seek to defraud should be under no illusion that they can succeed. The auditing and monitoring procedures applied by Health Benefits will detect dishonest claiming, even, as in this instance, it is sophisticated and over an extended period", Alastair McIlwrick said.

The sums of money involved in this particular case are large and Health Benefits is actively pursuing a range of options to recover the money defrauded. This is consistent with Health Benefits policy of recovering public funds when they have been inappropriately claimed and maintaining a climate of accountability within the claimant community.

"As this action is subject to further legal considerations, it is not possible to comment on how much of the defrauded monies can be recovered", said Alastair McIlwrick.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland