Blow to patients of home doctor service
A QUEENSLAND home doctor could be shut down - impacting thousands of patients - over allegations it owes the tax office close to half a million dollars.
Brisbane-based House Call Doctor Pty Ltd services patients from Cairns to Tweed Heads with in-home appointments that are bulk-billed.
The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation applied to the Federal Court in Brisbane on May 15 to wind up the business on the grounds it is insolvent.
The DCT stated in it application that it is relying on House Call Doctor's failure to pay $475,457 within 21 days of January 25 - when it was served with a creditor's demand for payment - as a ground for winding up.
Court documents state the debt is made up of payments due under business activity statements, which can include GST, PAYG withholding and fringe benefits tax.
House Call Doctor and other rival services offering mobile medical help have also been accused of unnecessarily claiming non-urgent visits as "urgent items", in order to gain a higher rebate.
Health Minister Greg Hunt last December announced the rebate payments to "medical deputising doctors" who undertook home visits would be reduced from $129.80 to $100.
The move was triggered by a review of the Medicare benefits schedule that found the after-hours medical service industry was a significant cost to the healthcare system.
House Call Doctor's sole director is Wayne Rodney Ormond, 45, from Kenmore, in Brisbane's west, according to ASIC records.
Ormond is a former BRW Young Rich Lister who was once voted Queensland's richest bachelor and drove a Rolls Royce. His previous company Refund Home Loans collapsed in 2011 with debts of $11.3 million.
House Call Doctor is entirely owned by House Call Holdings Pty Ltd, and its shareholders include; House Call Doctor general manager James John David Wood, of Kangaroo Point, director of medical services Chimene Koppenol, Raymond Andrew Walter of Greenslopes and fund manager Benjamin Robin Godfrey, of Oxley.
Mr Godfrey boasts on his LinkedIn profile that he helped House Call Doctor become "one of the largest providers of medical services of it's kind in Queensland and achieved unprecedented growth."
Since launching in 2015, it has grown to service 16 locations across Queensland including regional areas which have not had free after-hours medical services.
The matter is schedule to return to court on June 21.