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

InternetNZ On Snowden Docs: Mass Collection Of Pacific Data Affects Kiwi Holidaymakers

The allegation that New Zealand has conducted mass data harvesting on its Pacific Island neighbours raises concerns about New Zealanders’ communications being collected, says InternetNZ.

“If the allegations are correct, then New Zealand would be mining data about everyone in the Pacific Islands named in the allegations. That’s everyone. Not just individuals who attract specific surveillance warrants, but everyone. This means local residents to visiting Kiwi tourists could be having their data collected." More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news