With an ageing population, Germany has a booming health care and home care market. However, according to a media report released on Sunday, it revealed the German healthcare system is losing up to €1 billion euros a year through various illegal activities and scams. Some of these are reportedly linked to the Russian mafia.

The Welt Am Sonntag Weekly reports an example of the scams used that involve health workers who charge for a 24-hour care package, but allegedly, only check on their patients two or three times a day.

Additional cases site family members of service users are also involved in the fraud, who are taking a cut of the claimed expenses that have been taken from the German healthcare system purse.

The report, produced jointly with broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, stated that the fraud involved those patients that required intense care packages. In Germany, it estimated that 19,000 service users receive this level of care.
Care packages for this level of patients costs insurers around €22,000 ($25,000) a month and according to the report, it is estimated that one fifth of this lost to fraudulent activities.

The report quotes an internal dossier, compiled by Germany’s federal police as follow; “The healthcare invoice fraud by Russian care providers is a nationwide phenomenon that affects particular places where there are groups that are closed off by language barriers”.

The police document also reports “In some cases, Russian-Eurasian organised crime is known to have invested in home care services”.

The Federal police declined to comment on the contents of the internal report.

The Police stated “Municipal social assistance agencies and health and nursing care insurers, and therefore the general public, are suffering considerable damage”.