Fraud: Six hospital staff fired

2008-11-26 00:00

IN a move to curb over-expenditure and to tighten its control systems, the provincial Health Department has fired six workers at Estcourt Hospital in northern KZN for allegedly defrauding the department of R70 000 through fraudulent claims for overtime.

The department has laid fraud charges with the Organised Crime Unit against the six suspects.

Police spokeswoman Charmaine Struwig said the suspects have not yet been arrested, as police are still investigating.

The six suspects include a former chief human resourse officer, a principal human resourse officer, HR development practitioners, and three junior human resource officers at the hospital.

They have been working for the hospital for a period of between one and 18 years.

“In the light of the auditor-general’s report, which revealed that there were severe financial constraints in the department, Estcourt Hospital verified whether the overtime, S&T [subsistence and travel] and appointments were justified,” said Health spokesman Leon Mbangwa.

The department found that the employees defrauded the hospital of about R70 000 between February and April by claiming for overtime they did not work.

The hospital instituted an internal investigation after it discovered a number of overtime payments processed without authorisation from the cash flow committee.

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