Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bribing Physicians: How Common Is It Really?

My opinion:  Though this may be a bigger issue in China than in America, I think that America has a different form of physician bribery.  I remember watching a news show once in which an investigator tries to bribe doctors into giving him certain prescriptions, and he was usually successful.  Just recently, a psychiatrist in my hometown was charged for taking bribes.  So the problem definitely exists, but it may be exaggerated in the near future, as Medicare will not be paying doctors as much as in the past.  I wonder which types of doctors accept bribes most often.  Family doctors make less money than many, but psychiatrists and pains doctors have access to highly desirable drugs.  Does the government/police do a sufficient job of checking up on doctors like these?  And are there other doctors, like surgeons and radiologists, who may accept different types of bribes that can be easily hidden under the rug?  Feel free to comment.


Glaxo Case Shines Light on China’s Medical Bribery

(BEIJING) — Huang Dongliang says his uncle was being ignored by his low-paid cancer physician at a Chinese government hospital. So the family gave the doctor a “hongbao,” the traditional red envelope used for gifts, with 3,000 yuan ($480).
“We could feel an obvious difference” after that, said Huang, who lives in the southeastern city of Quanzhou. “The doctor started to do more checkups, to give suggestions and advice and offered a detailed chemotherapy plan.”
Such informal payments are pervasive in China’s dysfunctional health system. Low salaries and skimpy budgets drive doctors, nurses and administrators to make ends meet by accepting money from patients, drug suppliers and others. Accusations this month that GlaxoSmithKline employees bribed Chinese doctors to prescribe its drugs brought international attention to the flow of illicit money. But to China’s public, the practice has long been common knowledge.
Many blame a system in which the country’s hospitals nearly all are state-run but get too little money from Beijing. Most of China’s 2.3 million doctors are hospital employees and are barred from adding to their income by taking on second jobs.
“Physicians are way underpaid and they need to find a way to survive,” said Gordon Liu, a health care economist at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management.

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1 comment:

  1. Sure wish I would have thought of bribery! With what we have been through this past couple of years since my mother has been ill, I would have tried anything!

    I have been chronicling our story via a blog, if you are interested in checking it out: