by Medindia Content Team on  February 5, 2006 at 12:37 PM Indian Health News
Health Services Plagued By Corruption
There is rampant corruption in the health services sector in India, which also includes the country's hospitals, according to Transparency International's 2006 Global Corruption Report. The Government hospitals alone account for a total of Rs 20.17 billion annually by way of corruption. This does not include unnecessary diagnostic tests, non-availability of medicines, over-prescription, and counterfeit drugs.

The NGO has called for greater transparency where hospital services are concerned, and more stern action in the case of erring institutions. A policy of protection for whistleblowers is also necessary, as this will contribute towards lessening human suffering. It will also contribute towards curtailing the spread of deadly diseases which have become drug resistant.

The relief operations after the tsunami disaster are also reported to have been plagued with corruption. Each household in India spends Rs 663 on an average annually as a result of the corruption in the health sector, in addition to needless human suffering. The faith reposed by the people upon the medical sector is also gradually eroding as a result of this.

The cost of health services for the entire world as a whole amounts to US$ 3 trillion annually. Corruption in medical services is reported to have contributed to a large extent for the failure in containing the AIDS epidemic, which is spreading rapidly across the African Continent.

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