Peculation and corruption at Messina University Hospital: 9 under investigation, 11 million misused funds

In the context of an investigation by the Messina prosecutor’s office on the private clinic Nemosud and the Policlinico, the carabinieri today notified precautionary measures to nine suspects with the hypothesis of embezzlement and corruption. Personal precautionary measures have been imposed, prohibiting four suspects from contracting with the public administration and carrying out business in the healthcare sector.

Real measures include the preventive seizure of money, movable and immovable property, for a total amount of 11 million euros, equal to the misappropriated public funds.

The investigation, initiated in 2019 by the carabinieri investigative unit, was based on a doctor’s report on irregularities in the management of the NeMo Sud private clinic, established in 2012 for neurorehabilitation activities. Following the investigation, enriching testimonies were provided by a manager at the University Hospital who spoke about the conventions between the public entity and the private foundation that established the clinic.

According to the Messina prosecutor’s office, from 2012 to June 2021 (the year the clinic closed), through increasingly advantageous agreements for the clinic, a private clinic was allowed to operate in a public hospital at the expense of the taxpayer, without authorization or accreditation from the Sicilian Region. Former hospital executives allegedly outsourced neurorehabilitation services to the private clinic, diverting reimbursements from the Regional Health Service.

The suspects, according to the investigators, would have misappropriated public funds by allocating sums to the “NeMO Sud” clinic that belonged to the public structure. The private clinic classified services provided with a code for reimbursement by the Sicilian Region, even though the Region had not planned those services from the university hospital.

The investigation also uncovered potentially corrupt actions by a hospital doctor who allegedly supported the establishment of the NeMo Sud clinic, allowed arbitrary provision of neurorehabilitation services, and received the role of clinical director of the private center in exchange. Additionally, the doctor’s family members were reportedly hired without a public competition, based solely on the discretion of NeMo Sud’s management.

Peculato e corruzione al Policlinico di Messina: 9 indagati, 11 milioni di fondi distratti

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