Civil Guard detects Social Security fraud giving access to dialysis and kidney transplantation in Spain
Guardia Civil | April 11, 2016
- The Spanish Civil Guard has detected a Social Security fraud enabling several citizens of Bulgarian to obtain access to dialysis and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.
- In the Community of Madrid, 14 patients were detected who were fraudulently receiving dialysis or had already received a kidney transplant, resulting in a total cost of more than 1.5 million Euros.
- The investigation has aborted an illegal medical tourism operation that, had it continued, would have harmed patients on the waiting list for transplants.
The Civil Guard, as part of operation RENIBUS, has investigated a fraud involving citizens from Eastern Europe, mainly from Bulgaria, who have defrauded Social Security by highly fictitious means, in order to obtain the healthcare card and thus gain access to dialysis treatment and the waiting list for kidney transplantation.
In the same operation seven fraudulent companies were detected giving foreign workers highly illegal permits, as well as numerous fraudulent contracts in the RETA (Special Scheme for Self-Employed).
During the investigation, the Guardia Civil has enjoyed the cooperation of the National Transplant Organization, the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, and other agencies under the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and the Ministry of Health of the Madrid's community.
The operation began after a complaint was received from the Regional Office for the Coordination of Transplants under the Ministry of Health of the Community of Madrid, in which an unusual increase in patients from Eastern Europe on waiting lists for kidney transplants was reported.
The agents found a large number of cases in which people of other nationalities were fraudulently accessing the organ transplant list, an increase that was driven by word of mouth in Bulgaria, influenced by the excellent international reputation of the National Health System and in particular the Spanish Transplant System.
These people traveled to Spain and sought consultation in a health center, saying they were on vacation or visiting a relative, requesting hemodialysis treatment, which is offered as a medical emergency. In some cases, individuals presented to hospital on the day of their arrival in our country...