Personal healthcare fraud widespread, minister promises action

The health ministry is to get tough on suspected fraud involving personal care budgets (pgb) which are used to help the elderly and handicapped remain living in their own homes.

RTL news has obtained a leaked report which states tens of millions of euros are being wrongly claimed and spent under the pgb system.
Now junior health minister Martin van Rijn is to stop cash payments altogether. In addition, the list of people eligible for a personal budget will be cleaned up and the ministry is to appoint 22 more full-time inspectors, Nos television reports.
RTL news reported at the weekend that government officials, fraud experts and the police have carried out an investigation into the pgb system. Their report uncovers a number of fake care companies that are submitting claims on behalf of people who know nothing about them.
The investigators also identified healthcare workers, including doctors and psychiatrists, making fake diagnoses to allow people to claim the cash.
At the moment only 5% of claims are checked for accuracy. Van Rijn wants to raise this to 20%.
The previous government had planned to abolish the pgb set-up for all but a few cases. Around 120,000 people currently claim financial help through the system.

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