68 searches were carried out on Wednesday by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors and by judicial police officers in all counties and in Bucharest, in a criminal file in which investigations are conducted in terms of committing forgery, use of forgery, fraud, setting up an organized crime group, abuse of office and IT fraud, involving doctors and nurses. The damage in the file is estimated to RON 10 million, digi24.ro reports.
Investigators say that, since 2013 “several persons in Mures County and not only, as family doctors, specialized doctors, nurses, have repeatedly forged official documents, medical vouchers, prescriptions and registers by which they confirmed deeds and events not according to the facts (fictitious diagnostics, fictitious consultations, medical devices fictitiously recommended),” DIICOT informs.
“In particular, medical devices identified with the code C05 – urinary catheters, devices that were unnecessary to patients in order to be reimbursed by the National Health Insurance House. All these offences were committed for the benefit of two companies both based in Targu Mureş, which ensured the delivery of these products, in documents, to the patients located all over the country, thus unjustly collecting the reimbursed amounts,” the investigators inform.
“The investigations conducted so far, reveal an estimated damage of about RON 10,000,000, but the damage will be accurately determined after by examining the specific evidence in this file,” the DIICOT prosecutors also state.
In a first stage, 50 people are to be heard in the file.
On Tuesday, Chief prosecutor of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi warned about the corruption practices in the healthcare system, arguing there are major vulnerabilities which directly impact on the citizens’ life.
She exemplified a former hospital manager in Romania had raised EUR 12 million from bribe, by hiding the fraud behind false documents.
Corruption is mainly spread in e-procurement, medical services, medical staff hiring, hospital budgets and granting operating permits for pharmacies, Kovesi said. Usually, the bribe is given directly to the hospital manager or through some consultancy firms. Kovesi said that DNA prosecutors have found out that more and more such off shore companies are set up for this purpose.
Bribe tariffs are usually known, as they are fix percentages from e-procurement contracts or about certain sums to hire someone in the healthcare. So, in order to be hired as a nurse attendant one must pay EUR 1,500, and EUR 2,500 to get a nurse position. An ambulance driver has to pay EUR 1,000 to get hired.