Prosecutor’s office: False prescriptions issued by doctors for oncologic medicine, RON 1.7 M budget losses
The prosecutors from Bucharest Prosecutor’s Office have launched a criminal case against 10 persons, among whom were also doctors, under the charge of having issued 1,100 false prescriptions for oncology and hematology medicine to patients that did not benefit from the prescribed subsidized medicine, around 8.3 million lei (over 1.8 million euro) being fraudulently discounted from the Bucharest Health Insurance Fund.
The prosecutors of the Bucharest Tribunal and police officers from the Bucharest City General Police Directorate (DGPMB) conducted, yesterday, around 26 search warrants in Bucharest and Ilfov, Sibiu and Dolj counties in the homes of individuals but also at the headquarters of some legal entities, among the latter being also Fundeni Hospital.
The persons concerned are suspected of committing the felonies of tax evasion, money laundering, fraud, forgery and use of false documents. The data and evidence presented in the case shows that the suspects have created fictive economic and financial circuits with the purpose of receiving the sums resulted from the criminal activity and to hinder the payment of fiscal obligations to the state budget. The losses incurred upon the state budget are around 1.7 million lei, representing VAT and profit tax. The investigations were conducted with the technical help of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the National Tax Administration Agency’s (ANAF) Anti-Fiscal Fraud General Directorate.
Sources with the investigators, quoted by Mediafax, said that the physicians targeted by the probe are Otilia Georgescu, Emilia Niculescu-Mizil and Aristica Poenaru, from the Hematology Section of the Fundeni Clinic Institute. According to the sources, while searching the home of a doctor, police found EUR 100,000, USD 140,000 and EUR 250,000, and the search of a pharmacist’s home yielded RON 100,000 and more than EUR 23,000.
Over 1,000 medical prescriptions, worth some RON 7.5 M, were checked at the pharmacies of the Reteta chain, along with several fiscal invoices. Pharmacy employees are suspected that they made fictive acquisitions from ghost companies without distribution license issued by the National Agency of Medicine.
Banicioiu: Fraud will no longer be possible when the electronic file will be used
Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu said that frauds occur because of the system, but this will not be possible anymore when the electronic file of the patient and the national health card will come into use. “The project of implementing the information technology in the medical system continues and now we speak about implementing the electronic health file, to be followed by the national card and the re-entry to the system of the electronic dispatch, medical leave and prescriptions for medicines with a special regime,” the minister explained. Asked to comment the searches conducted yesterday morning, Banicioiu said that such actions help the medical system, adding that the Ministry of Health does its own verifications in hospitals throughout the country, as part of the largest operation launched these years.
On the other hand, the honor expert of the National House of Health Insurances (CNAS), Marius Filip, said yesterday, in the Mediafax Talks conference dedicated to the International Day of Family Physician, that the electronic file does not put pressure on family physicians, as it is not a financial-accounting instrument, but a “quintessence” of medical documents stored in various places. According to Filip, the purpose of this electronic file is to provide the doctor with the maximum amount of information about the patient, during the first meeting.
The President of the Romanian College of Physicians (CMR), Vasile Astarastoae, stated that in accordance to law the prosecutors had the obligation to announce the CMR before beginning criminal investigations in the false prescriptions case. Astarastoae also said a crusade has been launched against the doctors for several years that has been intensified in the last months.