Health as defined by WHO, “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing Food, shelter, and cloths were taken as the essential needs of human. Today the concept has extended its horizon First of all let us understand what exactly bribery means. It means to give somebody money or something valuable in order to persuade them to help you, especially by doing something dishonest. How many of us know that informal, under the table payment happens between hospital, doctors, ambulance driver, pharmaceutical and medical supplies company?
If we come to know such outrageous things happen when we or our family members get sick and have to utilize hospital services. How would we feel? It would be like curse to be sick. Most of us might lose our temper too. Our expenses covers not only the charges for the service that we use but also the unfamiliar topics that you’ll never ever get to know about for what you are paying.
Promotional expenses, advertisement expenses etc. are the terms that are used by hospitals or diagnostic centers to indicate such transaction, which is provided to the medical professional for the referral of the patient and the ambulance driver who makes delivery of that patient.
It has become a trend to those private healthcare centers or specialized diagnostic service provider which require referral patients and have no direct flow of patients for the health care facilities like ICU care, surgeries, dialysis, abortion, diagnostic services etc. Till date also there exist many hospitals which are managed and run by medical professionals.
Medical professionals are to act as medical person not managers. At present there exist more than 65 hospitals around Kathmandu valley including Government, Non-government, private with general, specialty, and multispecialty healthcare services. The increasing numbers of hospital itself have made healthcare financing complicated. Mushrooming of Healthcare centers brings challenges along, to cope up with procurement, maintenance, human resource financing and the loan which they obtain from various financial institutions.
So in order to survive in the race, the hospital administration follows the tactic of bribing. Now there arises an informal payment which is the form of corruption, a symptom of bad management, a response to underfunding, a reflection of the absence of accountability, or some combination. And we know it is not difficult to find racketeers. Even can’t imagine how widespread is this informal payments. This practice itself sounds indigestible and is not practicable to perform publicly in pure healthcare, but believe it exists.
An undergrounded channel between most of the private hospitals with teaching and government hospital’s medical professionals and ambulance driver performs this task in a very careful way. Lots of patients and visitors have become a victim of it. Patients get referred from one health care organization to another in the name of high quality care or advanced care, racketeers don’t care whether those who get referred get a care as required or not, their concern is money, seriously? This has been a trend for several years.
At least when this matter is in hands of medical professional patients are towards safe direction to some extent. The most regrettable situation comes when the ambulance driver runs his mobile to different hospitals he knows and takes the case in his own hands and trades; he does this because there exists a secret of such motivation; if he succeeds in doing so he will be the beneficiary and could earn as much as a normal labour earns after working for a month, in a single trip; can you believe it?
As many of us might have an idea of having preferential treatment, whether that could be in OPD or high care service like ICU care, surgeries, or that could be in IPD care. Why only when the high profile people get more attention and publicity whenever they visit hospital for their better health, is normal people’s health nothing in comparison to theirs? These all happens because there exist emotional and commercial bribery. Every year thousands and thousands people become victim of this problem.
It is also not accountable how much tax has been evaded till, with such practice. As, this practice is growing deep and deeper day by day making a health care and the Government sick. Such practice only makes the individual rich, whereas the profession and the government go poor. It is not the problem that could be overcome overnight. A strict mandatory monitoring policy from government level is the basic need to prevent and discourage the bad practice and the demons involved in such activities.
Healthcare service consumers also need to get aware that it’s their right to choose whether to utilize the service or not. Where as encouraging bribery is not the best solution for health care organization. It could work for an instant, but later it will be the pain that never give-up. Thus, a healthcare manager can act creative & proper management, come up with new ideas to serve, survive and make healthcare a real interesting business. Live and let other live. Kailash Shrestha BHCM, Nobel College 2010 Batch.