THE Ministry of Health has expressed concern over what it believes is a new attempt by some people to obtain money through fraudulent means.
There have been reports of people claiming to be Ministry of Health agents and making false promises that they can arrange for medical treatment abroad.
The issue was brought to its attention by a hospital in India where it sends patients to for treatment.
Apart from the ministry, police have also expressed concern and have advised people to be on their guard against fraudsters.
Yesterday, the ministry said it was trying to track down three people who had been implicated in this fraudulent activity.
Health Ministry spokesman Peni Namotu said the three men from the Western Division had been making false promises to people in need of overseas treatment.
The ministry came to know about the issue following an email from the Sahyadri Hospitals Limited, where patients from Fiji are sent for medical treatment following the proper procedures and directives of the Ministry of Health, he said.
He said the hospital informed the ministry that a third party was trying to intervene in the affairs of the Ministry of Health and the hospital.
Mr Namotu said some locals in the Western Division who were victims of these false promises also reported the matter to the ministry.
He said the fraudsters are operating in the Western Division.
Mr Namotu said the three individuals were in the preliminary stage of luring people into their trap and could have later demanded large sums of money.
Referring to reports, he said the three individuals sound like professionals, have relevant documents and procedures to lure members of the public.
Mr Namotu said the ministry did not engage with any individual to refer patients abroad for treatment.
Director of Operations Senior Superintendent of Police Rusiate Tudravu confirmed that police were aware of the issue.
SSP Tudravu said the public should refrain from dealing with such people.
We have also received reports of fraudulent cases recently and members of the public should demand identification cards if approached by such individuals, he said.
SSP Tudravu said people should inform the nearest police station if they were suspicious of individuals.