Last year, the care bonus was abused in all kinds of ways, reports RTL Nieuws based on its own research. Every healthcare worker received 1000 euros from the cabinet in 2020. The bonus was intended for nurses, carers and support staff, such as cleaners.
These were employees in all sectors of healthcare, who directly or indirectly experienced the consequences of the coronavirus in their work. The extra was intended for people who “delivered an exceptional performance”, and who do not earn more than twice modal.
But the money didnt always end up well, writes RTL News. “For example, rogue care directors kept the money in their pockets and employee lists were manipulated to gain more bonus.”
MPs of CDA, SP, PvdA and GroenLinks tell RTL Nieuws that there must be hard action against fraudsters with the healthcare bonus.
RTL Nieuws looked at the annual reports of around 300 out of 8000 companies that received health care bonuses. The bonuses received were compared to the number of employees in the annual accountability. It was found that dozens of companies have applied for bonuses for more staff than the number of employees known to the Ministry of Health.
RTL Nieuws, in its own words, came across dozens of dubious cases in addition to demonstrable fraud. Previously, it was known that the number of requests from employers for care bonuses for staff was much greater than thought. There, the cabinet had lost 800 million euros extra for the gesture for the care.
Multiple bonuses for themselves
According to experts who spoke to RTL, there are probably even more of this kind of dubious business. They hope that they will be investigated even better.
For example, Karen Ottens from the Regional Information and Expertise Center Eastern Netherlands saw that directors who run different companies gave themselves a bonus several times. Or that a bonus was requested by companies that do not provide care at all.
“The question is to what extent fraudcompanies are actually punished for abusing the care bonus,” writes RTL Nieuws. The Ministry of Health says that care managers have been left to whom they pay a bonus.
There is no check if the names are correct and how many bonuses someone gets. “Based on the accountability that companies submit, it is checked with samples whether the bonus has been paid. In doing so, it is checked whether tax has been paid.”
In a response, the Ministry of Health calls it annoying but inevitable that not all the money has ended up in the right place. A spokesperson emphasizes that the samples will continue for the time being and that process is still in full swing. He points out that at the time, at the insistence of the House, an arrangement was designed that had to be implemented quickly and that there are fray edging attached.
Fraud was reported directly at the time of the application for four healthcare providers. In all four cases, this has led to a conviction.