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List of black payments / Corruption in health sectors: Bribes – 25% of contract value, higher than in other fields

de Mariana Bechir , 14.5.2018

Romania is the European country with the lowest spending in the health sector. However, DNA statistics show that the bribe in this field is higher – it can reach 25% of the value of the contracts, as opposed to 10%, the usual practice in all other sectors (in infrastructure it is 2%).

Case files from DNA show that “there are major vulnerabilities within the public health system,” Laura Codruta Kovesi said on Tuesday.

According to her, there are five corruption areas in the health system: public procurement, medical services, budgeting of some payments, staff access to the medical system, and licensing process for pharmacies.

Public procurement

  • Bribe is given directly to the hospital manager or masked by fictitious services provided by consulting firms that are owned by the manager or close associates of the manager.
  • For this purpose, offshore companies have been established, precisely with the purpose of receiving the benefits or money given as a bribe.
  • Examples – cases of overpriced equipment that has been bought but could not be used.

Medical services

  • When patients give money to medical staff.
  • In this case, the value of the bribe is not big, but the regularity of this act is impressive. “Often, the amounts are impressive,” explained Laura Codruta Kovesi.

 Bribe for budgeting some payments

  • Budgeting is conditional on the illegal monthly payment of a fixed amount, made by the manager of the medical institution to the president of the County Health Insurance House.
  • The legal process of negotiating, signing, implementing the financing contract and tracking the payments is doubled by an illegal act of negotiating and receiving the bribe.

Hiring

  • “Tariffs” are fixed, and everyone knows how much and whom to give.
  • For example, for a hospital attendant job, 2,500 euro are paid, for a nurse job – 1,500 euro, for a medical registrar – 1,500 euro.

Authorization of pharmacies

  • Unlawful payments to facilitate the issuance of the authorizations in a shorter than usual time.
  • Bribing is an incentive for complying with the legal term, even though the applicants have filed accurate and complete files.
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