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NHF goes public on fraud claims

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

THE NATIONAL Health Fund (NHF) is downplaying recent reports of fraud involving two pharmacies, which are part of its health care-provider network.

The irregularities were discovered after the NHF's auditors discovered several discrepancies during a recent audit and the Fraud Squad was called in.

In a statement yesterday, the NHF said the auditing of pharmacies by its audit and investigations unit was a routine procedure done at least once every two years.

It stated that the frequency of audits was influenced by the volume of transactions conducted.

two suspended

The two providers have been suspended pending further investigations.

In the meantime, the opposition People's National Party has expressed concern over media reports of fraud at the NHF.

In a release issued by the party, Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Fenton Ferguson said the party was concerned about recent incidents of fraud, as beneficiaries would ultimately suffer from any loss incurred by the fund.

The Opposition also cited the use of $750,000 of NHF money to purchase tickets for the recent Shaggy and Friends benefit concert.

The party also called on the minister of health to ensure that all internal control systems and procedures were in place at the NHF to eliminate a recurrence of this type of fraud.