More than 400 NHS staff in Wales have been sacked or suspended in the past two years, according to figures obtained by an assembly member.
The alleged offences involved included abuse of patients, sexual harassment, drug thefts and fraud.
Chris Franks AM warned suspensions for a year or more in some cases put extra pressure on others working in the NHS.
Trusts stressed suspension was a "neutral act" often taken to protect the staff member involved.
The figures, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), showed the costs of paying staff while they were suspended was more than £850,000 over two years.
They indicated 78 staff were suspended in 2006/07 and 121 in 2007/08 - a total of 199.
Over the same period there were 87 dismissals in the first year and 115 in the second - 202 altogether.
The statistics also indicated that one staff member in north Wales was suspended for 19 months in the 2006/07 financial year.
More than 90,000 people are directly employed by the health service in Wales, around five per cent of the working age population
Plaid Cymru AM Mr Franks said he accepted the numbers suspended "represents a very small proportion of NHS staff but it is important that those who fall below the standards expected are weeded out which is clearly happening".
"I do have concerns at the length of time that some staff are suspended before a decision on their future is made.
"This can be for a year or more and during that time staff are paid.
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