Colombian authorities have begun investigating possible new developments in the country’s major health care scandal regarding fraudulent medical assistance applications, W Radio reported Thursday.
A special investigation team from the Prosecutor General’s Office is looking into apparent irregular coverage of medical treatments by Fosyga, the government agency in charge of administering health subsidies, in which the agency appears to have falsified citizen requests for medical assistance.
Under the Colombian health care system, patients may request government support in petitioning for medical coverage if they do not receive it in the first instance. After analyzing numerous documents of this nature, judicial police found various inconsistencies.
Among the inconsistencies found was that the signature of the same doctor appeared to be different in various summaries of clinical histories, while the doctor’s seal apparently belonged to another medical professional.
Authorities also discovered that the identification documents and the names of the claimants did not match up and that patients had been documented as receiving the same treatment for different illnesses, which was what initially led judicial police to further analyze the documents.
According to newspaper El Espectador, investigations have revealed that medical centers and clinics (IPS) were also involved in the falsification of assistance applications.
Resources pulled in by the agency through these apparent acts of fraud may be as high as $1.1 million (COP 2 billion), according to W Radio.
Amidst the new investigations into the ongoing scandal, on Thursday, government officials will give an account to Constitutional Court judges of the level of improvement the health sector has seen since 2008, when a law was passed obliging the state to comply with a series of measures to guarantee healthcare access to Colombian citizens, newspaper Semana reported.
The country’s major health corruption scandal began to unravel in May of this year with the arrest of 6 Ministry of Social Protection and Fosyga employees, investigated for allowing irregular health insurance coverage by EPS companies in exchange for receiving a percentage of the money. The scandal is estimated to have cost the Colombian state as much as $2.5 billion.