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Health Minister advised DHB not to take legal action

Health Minister advised DHB not to take legal action

Health Minister Tony Ryall’s admission that he advised the Southern District Health Board not to take legal action over $15 million of missing public funds requires an urgent investigation into the Minister’s full involvement in the decade long debacle, Green Party Health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

Mr Ryall finally came clean in Parliament today, confirming he had known about concerns over the misuse of health funds by South Link Health for a long period of time and that he had advised the DHB not to pursue legal action to recover it. However, he maintains he was not aware of legal advice that fraud could have been involved until late last year.

Kevin Hague has written to the Auditor General asking for an investigation into Tony Ryall’s involvement in this issue.

“It is completely inappropriate for the Health Minister to intervene and recommend that the DHB not take South Link Health to court to retrieve the funding. After years of negotiation and serious concerns about the money being misspent, legal action was an obvious solution,” said Mr Hague.

“This case of the missing millions is now being investigated by forensic accountants after legal advice late last year suggested it could involve fraud, but that will not address the Minister’s role.

“An investigation by the Auditor General must also be held into the Minster’s involvement in the case, and whether or not his interference in the decision not to take it to court was appropriate,” Mr Hague said.

“Mr Ryall’s upcoming retirement from Parliament makes this investigation even more urgent.”

Ends

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