Intended for healthcare professionals


German politicians want a commissioner to investigate bribery of doctors

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 22 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3906
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

    Health experts in Germany’s two biggest political parties have united to propose a new law that would create a commissioner in the federal health ministry to investigate allegations of bribery of doctors by hospitals and drug companies and of fraudulent billing.

    The proposed law would also create a new class of prosecutor in Germany’s 16 states who would specialise in healthcare fraud and provide so called whistleblower protection for hospital staff or others who report potential fraud.

    The German Medical Association and regional doctors’ groups have publicly criticised the proposed law. They say that the current legal framework for investigations and prosecution is adequate as it regularly uncovers crimes for which doctors are prosecuted.

    But Karl Lauterbach, professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne and a health spokesman for the centre left Social Democratic Party (SPD) in …

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