By Florian Kusznier, Christoph Haid

If anyone needed a wakeup call as to how critical a functioning compliance system and culture is, look no further than the recent reports in the Austrian media about allegations of fraud launched against a surgeon working at one of Vienna’s most renowned public-sector hospitals. Accusations surfaced in July that the surgeon had falsified operating room records: claiming to be in surgery at the respective hospital, while actually performing surgery in another, privately-held hospital.

The allegations were brought to light by a whistleblower and triggered an internal investigation by the hospital operator, for which a special board comprised of external surgeons and other experts was set-up. The surgeon has meanwhile been dismissed by the public-sector employer pursuant to media reports.