Thursday, May 28, 1998 Published at 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
Health: Latest News
NHS fraud-buster appointed
Mr Gee is known for his get-tough approach
An adviser to welfare reform minister Frank Field and chief fraud officer at Lambeth Council, James Gee, will take up the high-profile post on September 1.
The government estimates that £100m is lost through prescription and patient charge evasion every year.
Theft and forgery accounts for another £15m and additional money is lost through other fraud committed by dentists, GPs, opticians and pharmacists.
Mr Gee, aged 40, is known for his get-tough approach and the government hopes his appointment will show it is serious about fighting fraud.
He set up a corporate anti-fraud team at Lambeth Council and sacked 120 staff for corruption.
Before taking up his post at Lambeth, he was a fraud investigator at the London boroughs of Haringey and Islington.
His new post involves advising ministers on developing a strategy for tackling fraud, working closely with all agencies involved in the crackdown and promoting the strategy within the NHS and to the public.
He said: "I look forward to heading up the fight against fraud in the NHS.
"I shall adopt a comprehensive, independent and professional approach to reduce fraud to an absolute minimum level and, in doing so, help to free up resources to put towards health care for patients."
Health minister Alan Milburn said that losses to patient care from fraud were "unacceptable".
"Mr Gee's appointment as Fraud Supremo signals the government's determination to take the fight to the fraudsters.
"He will spearhead the battle against fraud wherever it appears in the health service."
Mr Gee's appointment is the first step in a government action plan on prescription fraud launched in January.