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Medicare crisis prompts investigation of doctors

Posted March. 23, 2001 18:32,   


State prosecutors announced Friday that they have begun an investigation of doctors on suspicion that they committed irregularities that caused the ongoing national medical insurance fund crisis. As an initial step, the prosecutors are collecting materials needed to further support their suspicions.

The prosecutors reportedly found some evidence that ranking officials of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Health Insurance Corporation (NHIC) backed or colluded with doctors in the commission of the alleged irregularities, sources said.

The investigation will focus on proving allegations that there was a collusive relationship between doctors and government officials, they said. The prosecutors will seek to determine whether doctors requested excessive or illegal insurance money by fabricating related documents or falsified records to show that they had sold premium brands instead of lower-priced products.

They will also probe allegations of the leasing of doctors` licenses and bribery involving doctors and pharmaceutical companies. The prosecutors have already asked the ministry and NHIC to submit related materials.