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Insurance fund ‘wasted millions’

Public administration inspectors checking the books of the civil servants’ insurance fund have uncovered millions of euros of wasteful spending, Kathimerini has learned.
A report compiled by the inspectors has been submitted to an appeals court prosecutor who is to determine whether 22 doctors and five administrative staff at various clinics should face criminal charges for overpricing prescriptions and medical tests. Some of these doctors were working for clinics that had no formal association with the civil servants’ insurance fund, according to the report.
Specifically, the report found that the fund’s expenses increased to 41.9 million euros last year from 34.7 million euros in 2008. In the first two months of this year, the expenses run up by pharmacists in eastern Attica alone exceeded 8 million euros.
In 2009, the expenses of pharmacists associated with the fund rose by 57 percent, according to the report.
During their investigation inspectors traced several clinics with no formal association to the insurance fund. One of these clinics was found to have had 18 million euros on its books despite having no contract with the fund’s regional office.
Inspectors spoke of a “black hole,” reporting wasteful spending in all the fund’s offices – in Athens, Piraeus and eastern Attica. The report said that inspections of doctors’ prescriptions revealed scant information as well as inconsistencies. They observed many instances in which the social security number recorded was either wrong or did not exist. There were several questionable entries referring to insured patients residing in the provinces who visited diagnostic clinics in Athens on the same day they received their prescription from their local doctor. Another suspicious finding relates to a doctor who supposedly specialized in two different fields and worked for two different hospitals between 1998 and 2002.
(source: kathimerini)

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