Kickback Scandal Hits Chinese Hospitals

By Frank Fang, Epoch Times
February 9, 2015 7:36 pm Last Updated: February 9, 2015 8:12 pm

The widespread use of kickbacks has been uncovered in hospitals in a corruption scandal in one Chinese province. The kickbacks involved large numbers of staff and resulted in the over prescription of drugs.

Sixteen directors and six deputy directors of hospitals in Anhui Province in eastern China, were removed because of corruption in 2014, according to the Chinese regime mouthpiece Xinhua.net on Feb. 9. The corruption probe into the province’s hospitals resulted in 108 cases involving a total of 123 people.

The directors got kickbacks from drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and construction companies.

Once a director was corrupt, no one in the hospital was likely to be clean, since the process of getting kickbacks often involved multiple departments within a hospital, according to Xinhua.

Liu Huading, the director of the Fu Yang Cancer Hospital, was encouraged by the drug provider to increase the use of chemotherapy drug fluorouracil. He was paid 60 yuan (about US$9.61) for every syringe of the drug used in the hospital. Liu eventually got a total 90,000 yuan (about US$14,409) in kickbacks.

In another case, Guo Jingli, the deputy director of the Linquan County People’s Hospital, was bribed 1.32 million yuan (about $211,387) by a supplier to name it the exclusive provider of a bone stabilizing material.

Once a director was corrupt, no one in the hospital was likely to be clean.
— Xinhua

“Most hospitals do have their own oversight system in place, but it only exists in name,” stated the Xinhua article citing a medical expert.

“Doctors are enticed to prescribe more drugs and give out prescriptions not based on their professional expertise,” stated Xinhua. “Medical equipment are frequently inspected because of large kickbacks to hospital officials.”

In the United States, medical institutions survive because of the services they offer the public. On the contrary, the profit made from the sale of drugs is used to sustain hospitals in China, and this system is linked to corruption in Chinese hospitals, reported the Beijing News on Feb. 9.

“The human mindset relies on the system,” stated Beijing News. “And the root cause of the problem is the lack of medical ethics.”

Before getting the drugs in the hands of Chinese patients, a drug company needs to pass multiple hurdles and pay public relations fee for each hurdle, reported the state-run DaHe website, a news website run by the Henan provincial government, on Feb. 9.

“Hospital workers have very long working hours and they get paid poorly while working in a pressured environment,” stated DaHe website. “Writing a large number of prescriptions and getting kickback payments have become a ‘secret bonus’ for people working in the health industry.”

Chinese netizens, speaking from their own experiences, have reacted with indignation on Peng Pai, a new media company started by the Chinese regime.

“Only 16? I bet [investigators] have not visited other places,” said a netizen with the name “Xu PingLi.”

“Now the doctors just keep on giving you different drugs, even though you don’t need it,” said a netizen with the moniker “Shilin Sanjiaodi.”

“Normal citizens have no place to go to file their grievances because profits made with corruption in the health sector are tied to the judicial department,” said a netizen with the nickname “Beijing Jishuitan Yiyuan.”