Historical Archive

Healthcare scams, 56 million lost a year in Europe

 The cost that European countries have to bear every year for fraud and corruption in their health systems amounts to 56 billion euros. At least this is the estimate of the European healthcare fraud and corruption network (Ehfcn, website www.ehfcn.org), the institution founded in 2005 by twenty-three health organizations from ten EU countries. According to EHFCN calculations, the resources lost due to crimes could be used in one year to hire two and a half million nurses, open 3,500 clinics and purchase 1.7 million incubators. It's Italy? Our country is not part of the Ehfcn but the alarm raised by the European body is also perfectly suited to the National Health Service. It would suffice to recall the report of the Court of Auditors on the 2009 activity, in which explicit reference is made to the tax damage caused by "unlawful conduct" on the occasion of "procurement contracts for the management of works and the supply of services" or to "obvious incongruities in the purchase price of goods and services". The accounting judiciary does not venture estimates on the extent of such damages as the EHFCN does, but still calculates the cost that taxpayers have to pay every year for corruption in the public administration as a whole at 50-60 billion. If we then want to draw from the news figures limited to the health sector only, we could cite the data provided a couple of weeks ago by the Apulian Guardia di Finanza: in 2009 the yellow flames brought to light frauds against the regional health service for 87 million euros.

DoctorNews – 1 April 2010 – Year 8, Number 58

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco