Police payrow visit angers nurses

NURSES are angry that police investigating a nurse, who allegedly was overpaid $2000 during the Queensland Health payroll system changeover, turned up at Nambour General Hospital.

Police, acting on a complaint from Queensland Health, said they briefly spoke with a female QH staff member at the hospital yesterday morning and asked her to discuss the issue outside work hours.

However, the visit angered the Queensland Nurses Union.

Union state secretary Beth Mohle said it was not appropriate that the nurse was interviewed at her workplace.

Ms Mohle said, however, that the responsibility for the “stressful” encounter did not lie with police.

“Given the exceptional nature of the circumstances, it's appalling considering the department has shown again and again that the information they have in the payroll system is flawed,” she said.

The State Government claims the nurse made a claim of an interim cash payment of about $2000.

The department now believes the woman was not entitled to receive the money.

The nurse is one of 88 Queensland health workers who were referred to fraud investigators by Queensland Health after allegedly applying for urgent financial assistance during the implementation of the new payroll system in March.

Sunshine Coast Health Service District chief Kevin Hegarty said staff at Nambour hospital did not alert police.

“This is a police operation, and hospital staff were not involved,” Mr Hegarty said.

“Appropriate support has been offered to the staff member.”

The Daily understands police had made several unsuccessful attempts to speak with the nurse outside work prior to yesterday's visit.

ABOUT THE PAYMENTS

Nambour nurse among four Sunshine Coast health workers department said made “fraudulent interim cash payment claims” during payroll debacle

Most of the allegations have been dismissed without a charge being laid

88 Queensland health workers investigated for similar claims

38,000 staff have received wage overpayment letters

Statewide moratorium introduced last month covers only staff suspected of being overpaid, not fraud matters


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