The National Assembly is drafting a law to take action against doctors and patients who collude with each other to cheat the National Social Security Fund into paying for false medical expenses.
Chheang Vun, chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Information and Media Commission, yesterday said that revenue has been lost through fraudulent collusion involving those who pretend to be ill in order to get medical leave from work.
He said doctors and patients collude by sharing money sent by the NSSF after the doctors bill it for medical treatment. He noted that the assembly’s Permanent Committee will discuss the draft law during a plenary session on Friday.
“It is not just the civil servants who are involved but also labourers who collude with referral hospital and health centre officials to issue medical leave slips and bill the NSSF,” Mr Vun said. “In fact, they are not sick and they just want to stay home.”
“So the state loses revenue and employers also lose manpower because of the sick leave,” he added, but did not provide details on how much revenue was lost through cheating.
Heng Sour, Labour Ministry spokesman, yesterday said the ministry has not yet received the report about NSSF being cheated, but it supports the bid to take legal action against such fraud.
“We have not yet received the report from the National Assembly,” he said. “We are waiting to cooperate with the National Assembly to investigate and take legal action.”
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, yesterday said that he welcomes the ministry’s commitment to take legal action against health centre and private hospital doctors who conspire with patients to cheat the NSSF.
He said that there are cases of patients making arrangements with doctors to obtain sick leave and they share the proceeds of reimbursement from the NSSF for the medical expenses charged.
“It is corruption to fraudulently issue medical leave slips and to claim money from the state, so we support the government’s bid to take legal action against such people,” Mr Chey said. “They are causing the state to lose income.”
In August, Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the draft law to expand the National Social Security Fund to provide a financial security net for civil servants, and those in the private and informal sectors.