Romania detains 22 in health care scam

BUCHAREST: Romanian police has detained 22 people, around half of them doctors, over a scam that bled the ailing health care system of $640,000 in reimbursements for fictitious medical tests, investigators said Sunday.

The fraud involved a huge network that included the heads of two Bucharest medical laboratories and sought the reimbursement of 14,000 tests that never took place, they said.

The health care payments were then split among members of the network, with the doctors getting a 10 percent share.

A total of 42 people have been charged but a Bucharest court delivered arrest warrants for only 22 of them.

More than 800 patients, whose names were used in the scam, have so far been heard by prosecutors.

Romania’s underfunded health care system is striving to uproot corruption and mismanagement. Electronic prescriptions became compulsory in Jaunary in a bid to curb fraud.