College joins list of PwC contractors

3 minute read

The college commissioned the trouble-riddled firm to evaluate its healthcare excellence framework in 2020.

The RACGP has had at least one contract with scandal-plagued professional services firm PwC, it has been revealed. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Australian affiliate is subject to a police investigation for allegedly misusing confidential government tax information for commercial gain.  

On Monday the firm disclosed the names of four former partners it says are responsible for confidentiality breaches, as well as the names of several current partners associated with the leaked information who were directed to go on leave last week, along with an additional list of 63 current and former partners and staff who received at least one email containing confidential information. 

At Senate Estimates last week, the Department of Health and Aged Care admitted to having 25 current contracts with PwC, worth a total of $25.2 million, including seven initiated this year, at least one of them after the 23 January disclosure of the current controversy. That contract is with the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority, and is worth almost $400,000. 

Deep in its submission to the National Health Reform Agreement’s mid-term review, the RACGP revealed that in 2020, PwC was commissioned by the college to produce a report entitled Economic benefits of the RACGP’s Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system 

“PwC has analysed the potential cost savings to government from providing the investment in general practice sought by the Vision,” said the college submission.  

“PwC identified that in the first year after implementation, the investment in general practice sought by the Vision would save $152 million from reduced preventable hospitalisations, $552 million from reduced emergency department presentations and $69 million from unplanned hospital admissions with additional savings over the next 15 years.” 

“The Vision” refers to the college’s framework “for excellence in healthcare”, first released in 2015 and now in a revised edition.  

“The RACGP commissioned PwC Australia to model the benefits of implementation of the Vision and prepare a report for publication,” according to the college’s website. 

“PwC estimate conservative direct benefits of implementing the Vision to be in the order of $1.0 billion in 2021 and $5.6 billion over the next five years at a minimum. Additionally, there are 98,000 quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained in 2021 and 520,000 QALYs gained over the next five years representing billions of additional dollars in economic value to individuals and Australia, beyond the direct savings.” 

TMR has approached the RACGP for details of any past, present or future contracts with PwC but it had not responded by publication deadline. 

The AMA and ACRRM have confirmed they do not have any contracts with PwC.  

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