Expanding information and sharing intelligence will be the focus of Europe’s first ever Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Conference, scheduled to be held in London on 18/19 October 2004.
The conference sponsors noted that “Healthcare resources are meant to cure the sick, not to line the pockets of the greedy. Over the last five years half a billion pounds [$890 million] has been saved in the UK alone because of work to tackle fraud in the National Health Service [NHS].”
Other European countries have the same problems. “Healthcare is a huge market and a multi-billion euro industry,” said the announcement. “The majority of EU countries will invest between 3 percent and 10 percent of their GDP in health every year. With the expansion of the European Union to twenty five states and new countries entering from the Baltic, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, a huge growth in the industry is expected over the next few years.”
Although they’re a minority, a number of persons, including patients, health professionals and multi-national corporations arte taking advantage of the the EU’s healthcare systems. “Fraud is a cross border problem,” said the bulletin. “With the enlargement of Europe comes a greater freedom to live and work in other EU states. Although this is a positive step for a better, more productive Europe, it also means an increased risk from fraud. Whether they are individuals or organised crime cartels, fraudsters will be able to duplicate their crimes throughout the EU due to the unrestricted passage from state to state of people, capital and the provision of services.”
The U.K.-based Counter Fraud and Security Management Service [CFSMS], the organization with responsibility for tackling fraud in the NHS in England and Wales, opened discussions with similar organizations in Europe. “This initial contact has led to the development of strong working relations,” and has demonstrated the need for a conference designed to “cultivate these new beginnings and develop tough new systems to stop fraud and corruption in healthcare. The hope is that the conference will be the start of a multilateral approach to tackling healthcare fraud in the EU states,” the bulletin continued.
Details of the conference are available at www.ehfcc.com – The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Conference.
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