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Fraud in Health Budget must be addressed urgently – McLaughlin

17 November, 2014 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin will be seeking to call the Health Minister in front of the committee to explain if any measures are being put in place to deal with the shocking amount of money being lost from the health budget as a result of fraud. 

Speaking today the chair of the health committee said: 

“The news that £44m was lost to front line health services as a result of fraud is shocking. 

“This was the amount for one year. Yes, one year. If we were to assume that previous years had similar figures rather than a staggering jump to £44m people will rightly be concerned.

“We need to compare this figure to others. The health department overspent by £13.1m last year. This could easily cover that. 

“Edwin Poots wanted £160m in August stating that he could not 'compromise patient safety'.

“If we find that over the past four years this figure close to the £40m mark that would have paid for his much-publicised shortfall. 

 “Clearly there are huge concerns about the budgetary management in health. The DUP's own finance minister has twice publicly rebuked the previous minister Edwin Poots.

“I will be seeking to call the current health minister to appear at the committee in order to ascertain where this fraud occurred and what measures are being put in place to tackle this huge loss of public monies.” 

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