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N15m fraud rocks NAUTH, 10 staff nabbed

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Management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State has taken about 10 of its staff to the police over an alleged fraud of  N15m.

The suspects were said to have broken into the institution’s Automated Billing and Account Method for the Health Station and manipulated the device which was installed to prevent pilfering and stealing of money generated by NAUTH but ran out of luck as they were discovered and handed over to the police for investigation and prosecution.

According to the Chief Medical Director ( CMD) of the hospital, Anthony Igwegbe, four staff of consulting firm for the automated billing and accounting method and health station were also nabbed by  the police for colluding with NAUTH staff in the fraud.

However, three staff out of 13 of them were cleared of the allegation but warned to be careful with their dealings to avoid falling prey.

Prof Igwegbe said that the automated billing method was introduced into the institution in 2012 and that the idea behind the introduction was to minimize fraud, enhance the services of the hospital by reducing waiting time of patients. He  noted that the system is being powered by “Health Station” on Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

He however clarified that “Health Station” as an organization does not collect revenue for the medical institution but made an application available to the hospital which permanently solved the problems associated with fake receipts.

“There was a time in the history of this hospital, all manner of receipts were flying around here, some of the receipts in use in those days even looked more original than the hospital’s original receipts and in the process, huge sums of money was lost to the fraudsters.

“The automated billing method has been working effectively for the hospital until this year when our partner employed some bad eggs who connived with our staff to defraud the system. The fraud was discovered three weeks ago. After the incident, the company carried out a system auditing and discovered that it was their staff who manipulated the system.’

“The management of NAUTH has zero tolerance to fraud and hence the use for the automated billing station and we have already established a committee to investigate the level of involvement of our staff and at the end of the day, the ones found culpable would be dealt with in line with the existing civil service laws.

On issue of facebook account, he declared that he does not own or operate facebook account and warned members of the public to disregard any name associated to him in the facebook, adding that anyone who does it, does it at his or her peril.

“Most of CMDs across the country are victims of fraudsters using their pictures and other details to create facebook accounts to defraud the unsuspecting members of the public. The management and administration of the hospital cannot be done on facebook and other social media, that is why the doors of this office is always open so that whoever that has any complaint.

The CMD who used the occasion of the briefing to highlight the recent achievements recorded by the hospital said “NAUTH is alive, we are rendering quality services to our patients who are satisfied and happy with us. This has led to a huge number of patients trooping to this hospital for medicare.

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