'Ash cash' cremation fees set to end

NZ Newswire November 14, 2012, 8:06 am

Hospitals are starting to scrap cremation certificate fees which have been used by doctors to fund social events and pay television.

Doctors are required to certify that a body is suitable for cremation, such as being without a pacemaker which might explode during the cremation.

But many who carry out the process charge a fee of up to $90 - money known as "ash cash" - and have spent it on their own social events, the Dominion Post reports.

In an email to regional representatives, Resident Doctors' Association national secretary Deborah Powell advised them of media Official Information Act inquiries and that district health boards (DHBs) wanted to stop the payments.

She said the fees had been used to pay for "as an example, Sky in the (doctors') lounge".

Several large DHBs don't charge the fees, among them Capital & Coast, Auckland, Counties Manukau, and Waikato, which stopped the practice in September.

But they have been charged and used for other purposes in other areas. The fees went into an orderlies' kitty in the Hutt Valley, to a "house surgeons' fund" in Taranaki and "social events" in the MidCentral Health area.

"It should really go into the hospital coffers," Peter Beauchamp of Manawatu's Beauchamp Funeral Home told the newspaper.

"I suppose we knew in the back of our minds it was going into a fund for the doctors, but I thought it would've been an educational fund."

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15 Comments

  1. John04:27pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I couldn't afford Sky TV while I was alive. It's good to see my 'Ash Cash' tax has gone to good use by the doctors.

    Reply
  2. john04:03pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    thats funny. who has been accountable for the payments, did they pay tax or gst, when will they be summon d to court by IRD

    Reply
  3. Catty02:26pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Discusting!

    Reply
  4. Catty02:26pm Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Discusting!

    Reply
  5. Yokel08:51am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Malkom X you sum up my thoughts precisely - this is an outrage. Especially when it exploits people at their most vulnerable. Chris why do you try to change issues? . Karla are you suggesting that Doctors are not paid for their services?

    Reply
  6. Jeremy08:37am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hooray! It shows that doctors can be untrustworthy as it is a form of double-dipping. They are already paid by the hospital.

    Reply
  7. Malkom X08:32am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    f***** rsoles. rich prick jerks

    Reply
  8. Chris08:29am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    funny how the badly paid, overworked junior doctors, who save our lives, are frowned upon when they try and earn a little extra cash, but the beneficiaries who do nothing are applauded when they demand extra cash.

    Reply
  9. Karla08:27am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    They should be able to charge for their services... and how cool for the Hutt Valley Orderlies, They will be paid peanuts! I wonder if the social events were for the big paid docs, or if it was for all staff including those not getting paid big bucks. Maybe the money at Midcentral could have paid for their parking at work instead.

    Reply
  10. TARQUIN UPTON-SMYTHE08:15am Wednesday 14th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I'm waiting for the Greens to demand a full enquiry by an overweight black left handed lesbian activist from some dodgy African country.

    Reply

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