Colombian municipalities steal $510M from health care funds

Colombian municipalities have embezzled over $510 million from health care funds, the country’s comptroller general told newscast CM& Tuesday.

The audit was initiated a month an a half ago in 76 municipalities in order to determine how the resources that had been allocated to health were being used.

The total amount audited was approximately $786 million for the duration of 2010 of which approximately $510 million had not been used to pay for health care, meaning that it was effectively lost.

The comptroller also found numerous other irregularities including deceased people that were still paying their health insurance, hospitals registered that turned out not to exist and databases that listed members multiple times.

Overall the comptroller general located 805 irregularities, which would have had to have meant the involvement of mayors, governors as well as members of the health insurance system (EPS) and the implicated hospitals.

The comptroller general will soon hand over the case to the prosecutor general’s office to begin criminal proceedings.

Colombia’s health care system is on the brink of collapse after the massive embezzlement of funds by health insurance companies.

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