GP fakes patient files to obtain taxpayers money

GP fakes patient files to obtain taxpayers moneyAn Auckland GP falsified patient files to invent patients he didn't have so he could obtain taxpayers money he wasn't entitled to, a jury has heard.

Hong Sheng Kong, a GP at Hong Kong Surgery in Panmure, Auckland, was also charged with 21 counts of dishonestly using a document – the medical reporting software MedTech 32 – to defraud the Health Ministry of $1.3 million of patient funding.

The Crown alleges Dr Hongsheng Kong that he changed the computerised reporting system to make it look as though he had more patients than he did, he manipulated patient files at his Panmure practice, Hong Kong Surgery, to create hundreds of patient files to receive ongoing government funding.

Along with the fraud charges the doctor faces an additional charge of obstructing the course of justice. That charge relates to an allegation he altered a patient's medical files to change a diagnosis he made.

Prosecutor Mark Woolford said the patient who died, a Chinese man whose name was suppressed, went to Kong with an ulcer on his heel in 2005. Mr. Woolford said Kong refused to take a biopsy even though the man's daughter accompanying him argued for a sample to be taken as she thought it could be cancer. He also said that the fraud charges used patient names from a previous practice he had been a partner in to make it look like he had more patients registered under the Primary Health Organization registry scheme than he did. Half the fraud charges were representative as the names he used ran to 18 pages and to lay a charge for each one would have required "thousands and thousands of charges".

The trial would hear evidence from computer technicians, doctors, patients and medical centre staff. The first witness today was expected to be the daughter of the man who died.