Queenland’s Crime and Corruption Commission will not be investigating claims senior doctors were rorting funds from the state’s public hospitals.
Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) will not launch an investigation into claims senior doctors rorted the state’s health system.
The commission was asked to assess a referral from the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) which claimed 12 senior medical officers (SMO) inappropriately treated and billed private patients in Queensland’s public hospitals.
The QAO looked into 88 doctors following concerns raised by Health Minister Lawrence Springborg last year that staff were exploiting a government agreement with SMOs paid an allowance to treat private patients in public hospitals.
The rorting concerns included allegations some doctors may have essentially double-dipped – performing private work while being paid to work in the public system.
It was the second Auditor-General’s report into the Right of Private Practice arrangements introduced by the previous Labor government.
On Tuesday the CCC released the findings of an assessment by retired Supreme Court justice Stanley Jones which recommended no investigation into the claims be launched.
Mr Jones’s report concluded claims of deliberate dishonesty and attempts to deceive hospital administrators by SMOs was unsubstantiated.
He found whether specialists were entitled to retains fees from treating private patients outside rostered Queensland Health time depended on the interpretation of their contracts, with different hospitals taking different approaches.
Due to the lack of sufficient evidence of official misconduct, the CCC said it supported Mr Jones’ suggestion an investigation was unwarranted.
“The CCC notes that the uncertainty around the SMOs contracts has been resolved, and that Queensland Health has accepted recommendations stemming from the QAO report,” a statement read.
Information was uncovered to warrant further investigation of two SMOs, with the CCC determining those matters could be dealt with by relevant hospital and health services.