Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg John McCutcheon

Pay back time for Health employees

TENS of thousands of regional Queensland Health employees should expect letters this week asking them to pay back accidental overpayments resulting from the department's payroll debacle.

The biggest regional district in debt is the Sunshine Coast where 2986 people owe $6 million.

Queensland Health is attempting to retrieve $89.5 million in overpayments including thousands from more than 8000 people who no longer work for the department.

The State Government waived $1.9 million from the bill including debts under $200 and money owed by people who had died.

In Queensland as a whole, health district metro north owes the most money with $18.7 million owed by 10,158 individuals, followed by metro south where $14.5 million is owed by 8,142 individuals.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said employees should start to receive letters about their repayments this week after the State Government ended a moratorium on repayments set by the former Labor Government.

Since lifting the moratorium, the health payroll hotline received 540 calls, including 227 calls from people wanting to repay their overpayments, Mr Springborg said.

Staff can contact the payroll hotline to discuss their overpayment plan or case managers will work progressively to contact individuals beginning with those who owe the most.

Mr Spingborg thanked health employees in advance for their patience.

"This is money paid by taxpayers, which should be available for frontline services, that was misdirected because of this hopeless administrative debacle," he said.

The state-wide hotline is 1800 239 074.

By region:

  • Sunshine Coast: 2986 people owe $6 million.
  • Darling Downs: 2807 employees owe $4.9 million
  • Central Queensland: 2204 people owe $4.1 m.
  • Wide Bay: 1924 people owe $3.4 million.
  • Mackay: 1442 employees owe $3.12 million
  • South-west region: 551 people owe $985,000.

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