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Corruption ruins the doctor-patient relationship in India

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 08 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3169

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Re: Corruption ruins the doctor-patient relationship in India

It is sad to read Dr Berger’s account of the state of the medical profession in India. I am the chief executive of a non-profit hospital in Delhi and experience the effects of corruption at multiple levels – poor quality of doctors because of lack of standards in medical education, demands for kickbacks for patient referrals, fixation of doctors with only increasing the size of their practice, and resistance by doctors to hold themselves accountable by engaging in meaningful audit. Deviance has been normalized to a huge extent in our environment. Any successful intervention will have to take a systems approach and address myriad interrelated factors. In addition to those discussed in the article, I want to point out the relatively low remuneration for physician services in India, poor consensus around professional code of conduct, and lack of sufficient leadership capacity within the medical profession.

Competing interests: No competing interests

20 May 2014
Abhishek Bhartia
Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research
B-16 Qutab Institutional Area