Following the seizure of assets of health incurance company Saludcoop, Colombia’s health superintendent said authorities are examining the actions of six other health insurance companies (EPS) thought to be tied up in a massive corruption scandal.
Health Superintendent Adolfo Gomez Velez did not name the companies, but said that the case against them is different from that of Saludcoop, which was temporarily repossessed Thursday due to irregularities in financial flows and debt payment.
According to newspaper El Tiempo, the Comptroller’s Office reported that preliminary investigations have already been opened into three of the six companies for apparent irregularities in the use of financial resources.
“The Comptroller’s Office is looking to see if there was an illegal use of resources, and following that, a detrimental and patrimonial effect on public and health services,” the office reported Thursday.
As regards the Saludcoop case, the health superintendency is currently working to establish whether over $6.5 million (COP 12 billion) were invested in the health program or in other activities.
Gomez reported that it currently appears that the insurance company made out more than 8,000 bad checks to contractors, for a value of over $200 million (COP 360 billion).
“In the accounting process, those checks appear as payments, a situation that is not certain because they are without financial backing, that is to say, that money still is owed to a lot of contractors,” said the superintendent, reported newspaper El Espectador.
The health superintendent said that after the present investigation has concluded, Saludcoop’s former president, Carlos Gustavo Palacino, will be expected to answer to these administrative errors before competent authorities.