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 Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news