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Guild praises actions of whistleblowing locum


MEDIA RELEASE


15 August 2011


Guild praises actions of whistleblowing locum


The Guild is praising the actions of the locum pharmacist who alerted the Ministry of Health to false claims being made by the pharmacy co-owned by convicted Auckland pharmacist, Wayne Baker.


Baker pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court last week to 95 charges of defrauding the Auckland DHB by submitting nearly $70,000 in false claims for payment.


Guild President, Karen Crisp, says she is encouraged the locum pharmacist acted responsibly when they suspected fraudulent behaviour at the Mt Albert pharmacy.


"The vast majority of pharmacists and their staff are dedicated and honest. They are committed to the welfare of their patients. It is a shame that a case like this tarnishes the entire profession.


"The Guild does everything it can to provide its members with the resources to ensure they comply with their professional and legal obligations and this case has been very disappointing for community pharmacy."


Ms Crisp says it is also encouraging that Wayne Baker has repaid the amount he had received for making the fraudulent claims, although it should not have happened in the first place.


"Members of the public will be particularly concerned that he used the names of deceased patients to claim payments."


Ms Crisp said the case does highlight the need for pharmacists to take responsibility for their colleagues as well as themselves. This means both formal and informal actions to ensure their colleagues meet the standards they expect of themselves.


Baker has been remanded on bail and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 11.


ENDS

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