Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Plunket or a multi-nat accused of fraud

12 April 2006


Plunket or a multi-nat accused of fraud - who would you call?

The Government needs to explain why a subsidiary of a huge multi-national corporation which appears on the Top 100 list of US Defense Contractors and which paid US$3 million to settle serious fraud allegations as recently as February has been chosen over the trusted New Zealand institution of Plunket to provide telephone advice to parents, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

McKesson Corporation, the parent company of McKesson New Zealand, which was recently awarded the PlunketLine contract, paid the US Government US$3 million in February to settle claims that it defrauded the United States Defense Department by overcharging for pharmaceutical products.

The company was also embroiled in separate fraud allegations several years ago which saw its former Chief Financial Officer indicted on charges of conspiracy and securities fraud.

While McKesson New Zealand is a separately listed company, it has close ties to McKesson Corporation. Two directors of the New Zealand company are Executive Offices of the parent company.

"It defies belief that McKesson has been favoured over the trusted, local and iconic institution of Plunket to provide health and parenting advice to New Zealand parents," Ms Kedgley says.

"Was the Ministry of Health aware when it negotiated its contract with McKesson New Zealand that fraud had been alleged in its parent company's dealings with the US Government, and if so, why was this information not made public?

"It is bad enough that a grass roots New Zealand organisation with a century of experience behind it has been passed over in favour of an international provider, but for that provider to be part of a company with a track record of fraud allegations is extremely concerning.

"The Prime Minister says PlunketLine was not awarded government funding because of high rates of unanswered calls, but the problem only seems to have become so serious since PlunketLine has operated as a subcontractor to Healthline. It should be given a chance to operate on its own, with adequate funding.

"There are also concerns about the fact that McKesson's staff will not be required to have a post-graduate Well Child Health certificate before they can operate the phone service, as PlunketLine staff were, and about the possibility that McKesson's advice, as a pharmaceutical company, will be drug-focussed.

"Given all these concerns, I believe the Government needs to seriously reconsider its decision to pass Plunket over for this service."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news