European Healthcare Fraud & Corruption Network (EHFCN)

European Healthcare Fraud & Corruption Network (EHFCN)

September 29, 2009 03:30 ET

First EHFCN Award to be Conferred to Ms Ewa Kopacz, Polish Minister of Health

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2009) - The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) announced that its first Excellence Award will be conferred to Ms Ewa Kopacz, Minister of Health of the Republic of Poland at the Network's Annual Conference in Edinburgh on 6-7 October 2009.
 
The award is granted to an organisation or individual who has proven excellence in the field of countering fraud and corruption in the healthcare sector. "It is an honour for EHFCN to present the award to Ms Kopacz," said Mr Paul Vincke, President of EHFCN. "Thanks to her continued efforts and determination, Poland has taken a giant step forward in the fight against fraud and corruption and tangible progress has been noted towards an anti-fraud and anti-corruption culture within the Polish healthcare system."
 
Ms Kopacz's Regulation for Advertising Pharmaceutical Products in particular achieved a milestone in Polish anti-corruption law and has put an end to various potentially corrupt practices. It was common for example for representatives of pharmaceutical concerns to influence decisions taken by medical doctors. Since the Regulation, the frequency of visits paid by representatives to doctors dropped dramatically. At the same time, hospitals reported a significant decrease in expenditure for drugs, delivering savings of approximately EUR 37.5 million due to the prescribing of less expensive pharmaceutical products. It is estimated that the regulation has already prevented losses of approximately EUR 67.5 million.
 
Special task forces were designated to find effective legislative solutions to increase transparency and prevent conflicts of interest. They were also entrusted with the promotion of anti-corruption practices and with raising public awareness of existing measures aimed at combating fraud and corruption in the Polish healthcare system. The regulation did not only increase trust in the healthcare system and the Polish government but also clearly demonstrated that fighting corruption in the healthcare system can be effective.
 
"I received the information that I was to be honoured by the EHFCN award with great joy. I feel happy that such an excellent organisation has appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Health to eliminate corruption and fraud from the Polish healthcare system and, what results from it, to increase the level of patients' safety", said Ewa Kopacz, Minister of Health.

EHFCN hopes the award will stimulate best practices in other European countries striving to attain an anti-fraud and anti-corruption culture. Two other initiatives were retained by the Award Committee: The first, an e-learning programme developed by the National Health Service Scotland (NHSS) Counter Fraud Services (CFS), helped create an anti-fraud and anti-corruption culture within NHSS by informing, deterring and changing attitudes towards fraud. The second, a unique comprehensive and integrated system to fight against healthcare fraud, was developed and implemented by the Medical Evaluation and Inspection Department (MEID) of the INAMI/RIZIV in Belgium according to a three pillar concept of information, control and evaluation.
 
Note to editors
 
The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (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 and offers a platform to share practices and ideas. Further information can be found at www.ehfcn.org.
 
The EHFCN Excellence Award is conferred to individuals or organisations whose actions are likely to significantly influence existing levels of fraud and/or corruption in healthcare, attract emulation in other parts of Europe and show innovative and effective aspects.

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