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

Gordon Campbell:
On Anne Tolley’s
Callous Folly

Years ago, I remember someone in the Heath Ministry telling me off the record that regulatory oversight in this country largely consisted in ‘waiting for something to turn green or fall off somebody’ before the authorities would swing into action...

Last week’s conflict between Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and District Court judge Carolyn Henwood illustrated quite a few of the flaws in the system. More>>

 

Members’ Bills: Greens' Domestic Violence And Loans Bills Pulled From Ballot

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill introduces workplace protections for victims of domestic violence, including allowing victims to request paid domestic violence leave for up to 10 days... Gareth Hughes’ Bill allows Kiwis with student loans to defer their student loan repayments into a first home savings scheme. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Police Did Not 'Deliberately' Use Pepper Spray On 10-Year-Old

"When spraying the man, the officer did not properly consider the necessity of using pepper spray in a confined space, the likelihood that it would affect the other innocent passengers or the fact that he was using a more powerful spray." More>>

ALSO:

Donor Bill Passes: Full Income Compensation For Live Organ Donors

Unanimous cross-party support for the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill represents a critical step in reducing the burgeoning waiting list for kidney donations, according to Kidney Health New Zealand chief executive Max Reid. More>>

ALSO:

Earthquake Response: Emergency Legislation Prepared

Three new Bills have been drafted in the wake of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on November 14 to ensure the government can enable affected communities to respond quickly and efficiently. More>>

ALSO:

Housing MPs: New Building(s) For Parliament

A new building will be erected on Parliament grounds to house Members of Parliament and their staff who currently work in leased accommodation in Bowen House. The plan has cross-Party support, apart from NZ First, said Parliament’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news