Monday, February 15, 2010

Zero Tolerate as I Say Not as I Do

"Anyone contemplating fraud against the NHS should be aware that they will be caught, and if they are caught, they will have to face the consequences of their fraudulent actions.

"Let me be clear today about what is a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and to fraudsters. Fraud perpetrated against the NHS is, in my view, a fraud perpetrated against each and every one of us and that is why it is so important to combat it. So it does make sense for all of us, in our own ways and in our own roles, to act as counter-fraud champions."

So spoke the SNP's Scottish Health Secretary to more than 100 delegates at a conference aimed at combating NHS fraud. Of course that role is one that is filled by the MSP for Glasgow Govan, the other being Deputy First Minister, for all three hats belong to Nicola Sturgeon.

This was 4 months after she first became away of the case of her constituent Abdul Rauf, but before she wrote that letter. In the letter she asked that even if the consequences of his fraudulent actions against the Department of Work and Pensions merited a custodial sentence that alternatives should be considered.

It adds another question to the list that she will have to answer after the current Scottish Parliament recess. Why is zero tolerance OK against fraud in the NHS but not against the DWP? Is it not also a fraud perpetrated against each and every one of us? Should we not also act as "counter-fraud champions"?

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