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30 Nov 2015 133 Respondents
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By David Seedhouse
VX Community
Genius (55192 XP)
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BLOWING THE WHISTLE: ARE YOU SURE??

BLOWING THE WHISTLE: ARE YOU SURE??

Remember Sarah:

'Sarah (36) is working in a large private rehabilitation clinic which offers therapies for both physical and mental problems, including addiction to drugs and alcohol. In the clinic there are psychiatrists, psychologists, radiographers, occupational therapists, chiropracters, physiotherapists, and nurses.  The clinic also uses accountants and legal advisors who are present at the clinic on scheduled days. Clients or their insurers are billed for all services, which are clearly itemised.

Sarah has discovered that over the past few months the owners of the clinic occasionally have been billing some patients for minor services they have not received, have been distributing an inexpensive medication to the richest clients while charging for a very expensive one, and at least once have over-medicated a client in order to keep her attending the clinic for longer than she needed to. Sarah has clear physical evidence to this effect.

To make matters worse, Sarah has found out that three members of her own profession are perpetrating these frauds - no-one else. They have access to the computer records and to medications.

Sarah has raised this matter with two colleagues from her own profession at the clinic. She has explained that she has evidence of what is going on. Both colleagues have advised her that 'it is not your business and that if you 'blow the whistle' you will be in trouble'. They have also said that this is all a very minor matter, no one is being harmed and that they expect loyalty from Sarah as a member of their profession. They also said they felt it was in a particular client's interest to continue rehab, which is why they 'facilitated' her to stay longer. 

This is a delicate matter and Sarah is not sure which colleagues she can trust, and is thereore reluctant to tell what she knows to more colleagues, of whatever profession.

However, Sarah is personally vexed by what she knows and is considering 'blowing the whistle' independently - in the first place by showing her employer the evidence and if that does not cause the practice to halt by reporting the matter to external authorities - including the disciplinary body for her profession.

Sarah does have a lot on her shoulders and is in two minds about whether to speak out or keep quiet.  She is a new graduate in her first job and is on probabtion. Her husband is a musician in a local band but makes little money, which does cause some tension between them.

She has also just had an email from her direct manager - who is one of the fraudsters - which says, curtly:

'You are asked to attend an urgent review panel to address performance issues that have been raised over your work practices and professionalism. The panel is convened for 8.30am. You have the right to bring a support person.'

However the mail adds a footnote:

'Sarah, I would be happy to have a quick chat today about this with you privately.'

Do you agree with the proposal below?

It is proposed that Sarah should blow the whistle on her own professional colleagues.'

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The great majority of respondents so far agree that they would 'blow the whistle' on their colleagues.

To foster debate please answer this very quick survey and discuss whether you would 'blow the whistle' in reality.

Would you blow the whistle in this case even if it meant you lost your job (which is likely)?