‘Suspected fraud’ led HSE to stop funding hepatitis C group

Positive Action had debts of €107,000 when it went into liquidation in April

A complaint over a "suspected fraud of funds" at the hepatitis C support group Positive Action led the HSE to cease funding to the organisation earlier this year, briefing documents prepared for the new Minister for Health state.

The documents state that the HSE took the decision to cease funding to the organisation in March of this year due to a “lack of confidence in the ability of Positive Action to manage public funds, unacceptable expenditure levels and lack of controls”, and on foot of “a complaint made to the gardaí in relation to a suspected fraud of funds” at the organisation.

Positive Action, which has been in operation for 20 years, had 727 members at the time the HSE withdrew its funding in March.

It had debts of €107,000 when it went into liquidation in April.



Its membership was mainly made up of women who became infected with hepatitis C after receiving anti-D immunoglobulin produced by the

Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board

between 1977 and 1991.

It had been in receipt of State funding since 1995, and received an average of €600,000 in funding a year between 2006 and 2011, which was reduced to €288,000 in 2012.

The organisation sought in excess of €515,000 in funding from the HSE for 2014 but later signed a service level agreement with the HSE for funding of €138,000.

The HSE took over the running of Positive Action in January after raising what the executive described as “serious concerns” over its governance and management of public money.