Tolerance of abuses is unacceptable in every way, emphasizes the Auditor General Odysseas Michailidis in an urgent letter sent yesterday to the Parliamentary Audit Committee on “OAW contracts with hospitals for the provision of inpatient health care within the GeSY”.
Mr. Michailidis refers to an audit he conducted from data received from the Health Insurance Organization for the period June – December 2019, noting that the processing of this data to date is worrying since the problem of abuse seems to have continued in November and December. despite the fact that it had published cases of possible abuse for the period June – October.
Indicatively, the auditor refers in the case of a company with three doctors in the field of ophthalmology who for the period June – December 2019 received a total amount of 1.7 million euros (351,075 euros in October, 281,696 euros in November, 291,301 euros in December). He mentions other cases in which specialist doctors received compensation of more than 100,000 in one month.
“We express our deep concern over the constant projection of the argument that allegedly the abuses do not endanger the viability of the GESS because there is provision for a global budget,” said Mr. Michaelides and recalled the public statements of the Minister of Health Konstantinos Ioannou. which “the budget is global and if the abuses are not reduced then the salaries of health professionals will be lower”. The goal of OAY, as stated by the minister, is to make a proper control so that the earnings are also correct.
OAY contracts with clinicians: High risk of corruption
At the same time, it invokes the GESS Law, according to which any health care service provider intentionally makes false or inaccurate statements or entries in the files or other documents and books used to submit claims by the ODA in order to deceive the Organization and collect remuneration for services or supplies he did not provide or amounts greater than those he would normally be entitled to is an offense punishable by three years' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding eight thousand euros or both.
“Instead of tackling the abuses decisively, the logic seems to be adopted that 'the price of the unit on the basis of which the doctors are paid also depends on their own behavior',” the auditor points out, noting that “this cannot be a response to the abuses”. At the same time, it expresses the view that the effects of abuse cannot be eliminated, but can be significantly reduced.
The Audit Office intends to examine the reasons why some private doctors have set up limited liability companies for the purpose of concluding a contract with the OAU. According to Odysseas Michailidis, at first sight it seems that the reason why doctors prefer to contract with OAY as companies rather than as individuals is tax evasion.