- Regulator to target misuse of funds, rent-seeking by management, bribery in pharmaceutical sales and ethics of medical personnel
- The announcement comes amid a year-long anti-graft investigation into healthcare sector
According to the SCMP, the regulator and investigators are pushing ahead with a year-long campaign to look into the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, with 6 highlighted areas including public health insurance funds, rent-seeking by administrators and management in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, bribery in sales of pharmaceutical and medical equipment, and the ethical conduct of medical personnel.
Corruption involving the country’s health insurance fund, which covers around 97% of the population, has become rampant and a threat to social stability
NHC is setting its sights on carrying out a systemic rectification that covers all conspicuous problems of corruption in every area and field in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors so we can establish a host of enduring mechanisms to ensure the long-lasting results of our work.
The campaign’s goal is to carry out systemic rectification that covers all conspicuous problems of corruption in every area and field in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors so we can establish a host of enduring mechanisms to ensure the long-lasting results of our work.
The NHC kicked off the campaign about three weeks ago to crack down on corruption in the medical sector, according to a statement it issued after a joint video conference with another nine agencies, including the National Audit Office and Ministry of Public Security.
Last December, five medical personnel, including a hospital chief in Xiangtan in the central province of Hunan, were sentenced to up to 11 years for defrauding the fund of more than 12 million yuan (US$1.67 million).
The fund is strained after emerging from three years of zero-Covid policies and a sluggish post-pandemic economic recovery. Health facilities across China have received more than 110 billion yuan from the fund since 2020, according to data published by the NHC in March.
Although the NHC statement said the medical sector was “dedicated to safeguarding people’s health”, the industry is notorious for corruption, and high costs and limited resources have led to public grievances.
A tally conducted by the Post found that over 168 hospital chiefs and party secretaries have been put under investigation or dismissed so far this year as part of the larger campaign.