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[HugChina] Survey shows 54% Chinese doctors take drug kickbacks from pharmaceutical dealers, another 39% receive subsidy for attending medical meetings

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Bernd Chang

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Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 09:37 AM 02873





Survey shows more than half Chinese doctors have taken or requested drug kickbacks from pharmaceutical dealers. But most Chinese netizens believe the actual figure is much higher. The morality degeneration among doctors is regarded as the reason for strained relationship between doctors and patients.

54% Chinese doctors acknowledge they have taken drug kickbacks from medicine dealers or manufacturers, another 39% say they have received subsidies to attend medical meetings. On the second Sino-US Health Seminar, party secretary of China Medical Association, Mr. Rao Keqin cited the data to testify that it is vital to enhance professional morality in Chinese hospitals and pharmaceutical industry. According to Rao, the statistical data come from the research named See-through Doctors Survey.

Mr. Rao Keqing did not give more details on the issue of healthcare in China but the statistical data are enough to have its heavy impact on Chinese society. It has long been a public secret that Chinese doctors profit from taking drug kickbacks at the expensive of patients. Reports on individual cases that doctors take kickbacks are not scarce in Chinese media, but to the scale of the hospital corruption there is still no concrete data.

Strained relationship between doctors and patients is worsening

The theme of the Second Sino-US Seminar is Health Reform: How to give the government free rein to supervise, enhance market competition and professional morality. Mr. Rao is one of the key speakers.

After comparing the data concerning national health situation collected in 2008 and 2011 respectively, Mr. Rao thinks that the satisfactory rate of ordinary Chinese concerning medical service has increased, but China faces more challenges: the strained relationship between doctors and patients in some regions have worsened and the medical ethics of Chinese doctors have deteriorated.

The strained relationship is reflected by the rising conflicts between doctors and patients. Data show that the the percentage of doctors being physically attacked by patients increased from 3.7% in 2008 to 4.5%, and that being insulted verbally increased from 22.1% to 27.3%. Among the many cases, some incidents resulted in severe injury or even deaths. In March 2012, 17 years old patient Li Mengnan rushed into doctors office of the attached hospital of Harbin Medical University and killed an intern named Wang Hao and injured another three doctors. The incident was widely reported and have shocked the nation.

Moral degeneration among Chinese doctors is blamed

The cause, according to some comments, lies in the high ratio of medical fee patients have to pay, the knowledge gap, non-action of the supervising body. Chairman of China Medical Association, Mr. Zhong Nanshan, says, the strained relationship between doctors and patients is partly caused by hospitals and doctors, for whom, it is not professional skills, but medical ethics that are in shortage.

In fact, Chinese media are not lack of scandals involving moral degenation among doctors in connection with the violence exerted by patients on doctors. Recently it has been reported that the vice dean of Beijing Oriental Hospital Shang Xianrong horded as much as 600,000 RMB within several months through accepting and even requesting kickbacks directly from drug manufacturers without restraint. And in August, courts in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and other cities convicted tens of doctors and hospital administrative staffs.

Rao Keqin lists some reasons that have led to the morality degeneration among hospitals and doctors: the seperation between medical technology and medical ethics causes doctors care their professional skills more than patients; the unmature market mechanism and over-marketing cause conflict between the strive for profits and the medical ethics; the systemic fault and twisted rewarding mechanism.

In the eyes of many doctors, they do not lack of morality. It is the current system that "compels decent women to engage in prostitution". Chinese government on the one hand ignores the value of medical service provided by doctors when they set the price, on the other hand it allows medical institutions to profit from drug sales. So the government has no right to criticize doctors in the regard of medical ethics.

Chinese netizens believe the actual figure is much higher

As to the statement of Mr. Rao that 54% doctors accept drug kickbacks, Chinese netizens believe the actual figure is much higher. Some of top comments of are translated as below:

??1 [Netizen from Tangshan of Hebei]: I swear, 100% of doctors receive drug kickbacks. I have seen with my own eyes in the past. With time passing by,none of the doctors I met in either large or small hospitals have not received kickbacks, no matter what position the doctors hold, no matter whether it is a military hospital or a local Three-A hospital. The president of hospital, the dean for pharmacy, the dean taking charge of medical devices, all take drug kickbacks. How can a drug be accepted by the hospital without kickbacks? Even it is through bidding, how can the drug sales rise in the hospital? 54%? Nonsense!

????? [Netizen from Canada]: The other 46% doctors are angry: who have embezzled the drug kickbacks belonging to me?

A mobile netizen from Guangdong: You are required to offer red envolop (containing bribe) to doctors if you want to see a doctor in Shantou.

A mobile netizen from Jiangsu: The entire social morality has fallen to the valley bottom.

Picture description:It has long been a public secret that Chinese doctors profit from taking drug kickbacks at the expensive of patients. And this kind of hospital corrution is blamed as one of the reasons for the heavy burden of Chinese patients. (the meaning of the characters: ?? kickback; ?? price of drug)


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