The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) launches its awareness
campaign highlighting that more than 56 billion Euros is lost each year to healthcare fraud and corruption across European Union countries.
The extent of the problem
Every citizen has a right to basic healthcare, yet 80 million Europeans live at risk of poverty and face the danger of suffering from poor health and having reduced access to healthcare. The EHFCN awareness campaign wants to stress that the money lost to healthcare fraud and corruption could be used for purposes such as improving healthcare infrastructure, healthcare education, technology and other health services, for the benefit of every European citizen.
In fact 56 billion Euros would represent the funding necessary to pay for over 2.5 million more nurses across Europe every year; for over 3500 new healthcare clinics in Europe every year; or for over 1.7 million incubators in Europe every year. Conversely, every cent lost undermines healthcare systems' capacity to provide essential treatment and will ultimately lead to lower quality of care, and a reduced availability of services, treatments and care.
“Stamp out fraud for everyone's benefit”
With 5.59% lost to healthcare fraud alone, the EHFCN campaign aims to clearly state that fraud and corruption within healthcare is unacceptable and seeks to mobilise the honest majority of people involved in healthcare. Many players have responsibilities in healthcare: healthcare professionals and staff, providers, insurers, policy makers and patients, and unfortunately some weak links in the chain do not operate in an honest way.
The campaign's key message “Stamp out fraud for everyone's benefit”, aims to invite everyone to collaborate on eliminating fraud and corruption and to encourage policy makers to take measures at national and European level to counter healthcare fraud and corruption in order to provide every citizen with the basic access to healthcare they deserve.
“Europe and indeed the world cannot afford to lose more money to healthcare fraud and corruption”, said Paul Vincke, President of EHFCN. “We need to prevent the fraudulent and corrupt minority and we need to mobilise the vast majority of honest people. Despite differences in politics, economies and healthcare systems, we need to ensure that every citizen has access to effective healthcare, wherever they are and whatever their social or economic background”.
EHFCN encourages its members and all stakeholders to join the campaign. Various promotional materials are available to download from the EHFCN website, including posters for display in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, surgeries, health funds and insurances reception desks, etc. and web banners to support the campaign online. EHFCN is encouraging the public to register their support via our website www.ehfcn.org.
Note to editors
The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) – Established in 2005, EHFCN is the only European organisation dedicated to combating healthcare fraud and corruption across Europe in order to bring back money to healthcare services for the benefit of every patient. EHFCN provides information, tools, training and assistance in fighting fraud and corruption to its member associations. It also offers a platform for members to exchange information and ideas. Further information can be found at www.ehfcn.org.
“The Financial Cost of Healthcare Fraud” Report, which was jointly published by MacIntyre Hudson LLP, the Centre for Counter Fraud Services at University of Portsmouth and the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) in January 2010, states that an average of 5.59% of global healthcare expenditure is lost to healthcare fraud alone.
 Gee J, Button M, Brooks G, The Financial Cost of Healthcare Fraud, London, 2010.
 Figures drawn from calculations based on UK costs for equipment and services, for lack of average European figures.