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

 


Calls for investigation into potential health spend fraud

19 February 2014

Green Party calls for investigation into potential health spend fraud

An investigation is needed into a dispute between South Island DHBs and GP organisation South Link Health (SHL) and allegations of possible fraud involving millions of dollars, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

Today in the Health Select Committee, Mr Hague questioned the DHB Chair Joe Butterfield who confirmed that the DHB had received legal advice in 2010 that fraud may have occurred. Mr Hague has written to the Auditor-General to request an investigation into the actions of the Southern DHB and the Minister and Ministry of Health and will be questioning the Minister of Health on this matter in Question Time today.

“Southern DHB Chair Joe Butterfield could give no real answer as to why this suspicion of fraud had not been referred to the Police or other appropriate authority for investigation,” said Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague.

“He was also unclear on the question of when the Ministry of Health provided assistance to the DHB meaning that an investigation is needed to uncover the misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

The dispute dates back more than 10 years to when SLH held a contract that enabled it to use savings it achieved on pharmaceutical and laboratory testing budgets to provide additional patient services, provided that funders agreed. The DHBs claim that the money was instead spent in other ways and without permission.

“The public needs to have confidence that health funds are actually being used for the intended purpose. There can be no confidence at all that this money – somewhere between $5.2 million and $15 million – has been used appropriately.

“It seems inexplicable that concerns around possible fraud were not tested through some kind of legal action.

“The public needs to have confidence that the DHB acted appropriately and that no undue pressure was brought to bear from the Minister or Ministry over the decision about whether legal action should be taken.

“The Ministry also needs to explain why no action was taken when the DHB asked for its assistance in investigating and providing advice about what to do in this very serious situation.”

The DHB also confirmed today that an IT failure had led to the loss of information being kept about women who had been tested for breast cancer.

“Several other serious issues were raised in the select committee today which point to an organisation struggling under pressure by the Health Minister to meet his requirements for financial results,” said Mr Hague.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news