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Corruption in healthcare is rife worldwide, finds report

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5522 (Published 12 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5522
  1. Deborah Cohen,
  2. Michael Petkov
  1. London

Corruption is part of doing business in the healthcare sector all over the world and prevents vulnerable people accessing the care or products they need, a report has found.1

Health experts and anticorruption specialists interviewed for the report said that the whole system was broken, as many people, companies, and groups involved in healthcare were placing their private self interests over wider public health goals.

The report was produced by Transparency International, a charity that fights corruption and has offices in over 100 countries. It defined corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

The report found corruption throughout the healthcare sector—from among the politicians whose policies may negatively affect public health goals to in how studies are conducted, from marketing and procurement to healthcare delivery.

Sophie Peresson, director of Transparency International’s pharmaceuticals and healthcare programme, said, “From the politician to the patient, corruption has all too sadly become just a part of doing business. But that needs to stop here, and our research is an attempt to begin the fight back. We need a multi-stakeholder approach and a united front against corruption in the health sector. It’s time we all …

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