Wide Bay health workers still have $1.2 million to repay

HUNDREDS of former Wide Bay staff are still being asked to pay back $1.2 million to Queensland Health following the 2010 payroll debacle.

A total of 550 staff from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service still have an outstanding salary overpayment following the IT glitch, which overpaid 14,000 workers almost $28 million across the state.

Of that figure, about 275 Wide Bay staff are already in discussions with the employer regarding their overpayment.

The total costs of the bungle which left thousands either under or overpaid, or not paid at all, have been estimated to cost a whopping $1.2 billion.

Queensland Health said on Monday it would now be having discussions with staff in the next few months to start recouping the overpayments.

The Queensland Nurses Union Bundaberg organiser Anne Stevens said some local staff had been overpaid only a few hundred dollars, while others now had to repay "quite a few thousand".

"This will hurt quite a few of them," she said.

Department of Health Director-General Ian Maynard said the former staff members would either continue existing discussions or be sent a letter about overpayments they received following implementation of the payroll system.

"Although we've been working with some former staff members to resolve overpayments, we know many others have been waiting patiently to hear from us," he said.

Mr Maynard said new repayment options had been introduced to make it as easier to repay the debt.

"Former staff can now repay by BPAY, online with a credit card or in person at Australia Post - just like an electricity or phone bill," he said.

"It's easy and you can sort it out straight away."

Mr Maynard said it was important to finalise the overpayments, particularly given the significant concerns staff have had.

"The reality is many people just want to clear the decks and move forward without this hanging over their heads," he said.

"However, it's important to remember people received money they weren't entitled to and we need to recover it."



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