Baycrest Hospital has fired or accepted the resignation of about 150 workers after $5 million was allegedly swindled in what could be one of Canada’s largest insurance scams.
Baycrest Hospital said an investigation was prompted after "concerns were raised about the extended health care claims some employees were making under the benefits plan."
As a result, the hospital said it retained a third party to conduct an audit on the matter, which found "irregularities".
"We are extremely disappointed by these findings as we view any misuse of our benefits plan as inconsistent with our policies and procedures and incompatible with our Baycrest values," a statement issued by the hospital said.
The statement said the employees involved "spanned a variety of job categories."
"As a result of the investigation thus far, approximately 150 people are no longer with our organization through a combination of terminations and resignations."
The North York hospital said that in some cases, employees were allegedly submitting claims for services or products they never received, while in others, a claim for something like compression stockings was actually used to buy a purse. The hospital said one employees allegedly scammed the system for as much as $100,000.
The alleged swindling occurred over an eight year period, Baycrest Hospital said.
In an effort to prevent any similar occurrences from happening in the future, the hospital said their external benefits administrator will be conducting additional audits and further education on the matter will be provided to staff.
Baycrest Hospital volunteer Bob Delson told CTV News Toronto news of the alleged scam is a “shame”.
“We're doing so much good and these people are so selfish to take away all of the goodness from,” Delson said.
Toronto police have been notified of the hospital’s investigation but at this point said a criminal investigation is not underway.
This is not the first time a public company has had to deal with an insurance-related scandal -- last year the TTC fired 223 people for abusing its benefits program. Ten criminals charges were laid in that case.