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Bribing medical doctors in your country.

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Encolpius, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Hello, the inspiration was a newspaper article where I read, and of course I agree, that every third patient bribed a doctor in the last five years in the Czech republic. The article says the bribe was usually a small gift, but in some cases the price of the "gift" was over 1500€ (that is the double of the average salary here). The most bribed specialities are here dentists, gynaecologists, obstetricians, psychiatrists (that surprised me) and orthopaedic surgeons. I think bribing doctors is even more common in Hungary. People usually want to achieve better and quicker treatment or surgery, or choose a concrete surgeon, obstetrician or doctor in general. I'd call that real bribing. On the other hand many people give the doctors small gifts, flowers, sweet, coffee for female doctors, or bottle of whiskey for male doctors, let's call it as a sign of gratitude. In villages people also give eggs, vegetable, fruits made at home.
    My questions is: is it common to give something to a doctor or even bribe a doctor in your country?
    The reason here (and I think in most post-communist countries) is many doctors tend to be underpaid here.
    Thanks for your contribution.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  2. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Well here in Mexico you don't bribe them.

    If you want to receive tratment in a faster way or have oyur surgery done when you want to, you go to a private hospital and pay for that.

    The public service, well doctor cannot take teh desition when or not to operate there are waiting lists, and those are managed for other persons not for the doctor, so maybe you will need to bribe this perosn not the doctor.
     
  3. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    That factor did not occur to me, I mean, private hospitals. They are still only few here in the Czech republic and it is more business than better quality. And bribing is still cheaper than a private hospital care here.
     
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Exactly the same here in the UK.
    I imagine a lot of patients give surgeons/doctors gifts after treatment, though.
     
  5. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    If you want to bribe a doctor you better get a private health insurance :D
    They earn up to 3 times as much than from patients with a national health insurance.

    Presents for doctor are quite uncommon over here. If you stay longer in hospital you rather give the nurses a small gift, e.g. some sweets, coffee, etc.
     
  6. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    Uruguay
    Español
    I find your thread very interesting. In this corner of the world, doctors working for our National Health System are not only underpaid, but also overworked, at least the majority of them. Nevertheless, I have never even heard of anybody doing something like that. Our system has many problems, mainly of attitude towards patients, but not the one you have mentioned.
    Regards
     
  7. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    There's a problem, however: if, as it often happens in Italy, patients only trust one doctor who happens to work in a public hospital rather than in a private one, the "go private" option is not practicable.
    Bribing is common practice in Italy, especially in situations where people can try to excuse their dishonest behaviour due to circumstances that are beyond their control, like poor health.
     
  8. Ivonne do Tango

    Ivonne do Tango Senior Member

    En un cafetín de Buenos Aires
    Porteño de arrabal

    I really don't think that happens in the Public Health here, even when some specialities are not very well payed, certain public hospitals in Argentina are known for its academic prestige (the first I remember is Hospital Fernández and really, it will be obsolet to birb someone there to obtain a better or quicker treatment, the excellence of profesionals is high and that quality goes to all and with no fee).

    If you have a prepaid medicine so you are paying so much mony for that, I supose nobady risk to bribe a doctor (do tue is already receiving an excellent salary for its job). But I want to clarify, the most prestigious Argentinan medical institutions are the Public Health (from "el Estado") and to birb a doctor isn't a common practice in this area (you know, do is between politics, etc., etc.),

    If you want, you can give something to your doctor as a sign of affection, only of affection, and just in holidays like Christmas or New Year.

    Sorry, I never studied English and I did an incredible effort to write this (I would like to say thanks to my friend Google, he also make mistakes but he knows more than me, that's for sure).
     
  9. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Here private hospitals have a very good "name" obviously only the big ones, 'cause those small clinics, They are not recommendable.

    Besides here in México in general a lot fo the private doctors work in the public service too, at least the surgeons.

    I also agree on that, the touc wtih them it's much closer and affective than with the doctor.
     
  10. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    There's no bribing of doctors in Australia. Patients may leave small gifts at Christmas.

    It's very common to leave a box of chocolates for the nursing staff when one leaves hospital.
     
  11. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru
    No, we do not do that here. The only crooked ones on the take are the damn cops, regardless of how many campaigns they throw to clean up their image.
     
  12. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano
    The same in Perú.

    if you want an elective surgery or want it to be done fast you go to private clinics, you pay cash or your private insurance will cover it.

    In public hospitals you will be scheduled for surgery, it will fast or in appropriate time according to your medical problem, you can't bribe doctors.
     
  13. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    This isn't done in Austria - you don't bribe doctors, if you want special treatment you pay for that (either as a private patient or through private insurance which covers extras not paid for by public insurance).

    Some patients however may give tips or small gifts to nurses.
     
  14. Jacobtm Senior Member

    NY
    English - New York
    In the USA, I've never heard of anyone bribing a doctor. A long wait to get a doctor's appointment is common, so it's rather surprising that bribes aren't equally as common.

    However, the "receptionists" who make appointments for doctors are the one's you'd need to bribe to get an earlier appointment, not the actual doctor.

    As for bribes for better care, I don't think many people believe that their doctor is capable of giving good care but chooses not to. People tend to talk about "good doctors" and "bad doctors". I suppose since the doctor doesn't really have any disincentive to use whatever tools/tests he thinks necessary, people generally do get the best care that the doctor believes appropriate. In fact, one of the problems people see with our health-care system is that doctors reccomend too many tests, prodcedures etc, leading to high costs for consumers, but certainly not leading to the necessity to bribe a doctor once you see him.
     
  15. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    Provence
    français
    France seems to be pretty much like Austria; you don't bribe doctors.

    Nurse friends of mine are sometimes given presents, typically food or wine.
     
  16. Tagarela Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Português - Brasil
    Hi,

    Well, in Brazil, private health services usually are better than public ones, so, the first option would take your money to a private doctor or hospital instead bribing. But perhaps in some cases if one knows the right person in a public hospital, the chief doctor, director whoever... I guess that bribe might occur, or even without bribing, for friendship, you know.

    As for giving gifts, I myself gave a gift to my dentist after a long treatment of years when she I have my braces took off :D


    Good bye.:
     
  17. Bilma Senior Member

    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    I wonder if any doctors are bribed here in USA to give people disability. There are tons of people perfectly healthy and they are on disability collecting money from the system.
     
  18. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano
    Hello:

    I read some about it; but it's not bribing but fraud, mostly related to Medicare misbilling.

    Regards.
     
  19. Jacobtm Senior Member

    NY
    English - New York
    I don't think the people on disability are in much of a position to offer bribes, though I don't think it's rare for a doctor to take pity on someone and sign off on medical forms that make their lives easier. For instance, diagnosing them with a more serious condition than they have to aid them in collecting money from insurance companies.
     
  20. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    No? :)
    I'm a disabled person who's entitled to receive let's say $ 5,000 a year.
    I give my friend doc a call.. "Hey doc, help me get $ 10,000 and you'll get your fair share.."
    Isn't that bribing?
    In Italy there are hundreds of thousands of people who unlawfully receive a disability pension, thanks to some corrupt doctors who stated those people are disabled whereas in fact they are not.
    How did those people "persuade" the docs to make a false statement? :rolleyes:
     
  21. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I haven't thought of this kind of bribing when I wrote my post above. (And of course it would be bribing, I agree on that.)

    Still, I'm fairly sure that if this is done in Austria (never heard of it but I couldn't rule it out) then it certainly isn't a major problem.
     
  22. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español

    Well I think there is some doctor who have a good heart buy unfourtunatly I also think those are the less.

    P.S. Good to see you again Jacob
     
  23. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    It is indeed a major problem in Italy: according to INPS (Italian National social security Institute) that is the institute which pays out disability pensions, at least the 13% of the people who receive a disability pension are actually not disabled people, but crooks.
    http://www.vostrisoldi.it/articolo/pensioni-invalidita-13-su-100-sono-false/14431/
    Every year INPS pays 13 billion euros for disability pensions.
     
  24. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    It depends on the definition of "bribe".

    There are physicians who have clinics specifically for "insurance" and "disability" claims.
    The "bribe" is that they receive a fee (from a third party) for the evaluation and therapy.
    In my opinion, it's illegal, but not really a bribe.
    In my opinion, they should spend some time behind bars getting to know "Bubba".

    I personally know of one case of a true "bribe".
    A large sum of cash was given to a doc to make statements about a prominent member of a "company" so that member of the "company" would spend less time behind bars.
    The doc lost her/his position, but continued to practice.
    Unfortunately, that doc did not get to know "Bubba".

    My second example, I would guess is fairly rare, but I'm sure exists on many levels here in the US.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  25. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian

    Emphasis on "most post-communist countries". :)

    During the commie years, it was exceedingly common to give a little something (money, chocolate, flowers, a bottle of wine, coffee, even quality salami!) to the doctors before your treatment. This ensured that you had their attention. The nurses weren't forgotten either. So although we were all insured (no unemployment...), it cost a lot to receive medical care.

    Nowadays most doctors are still underpaid, but gift-giving is not as frequent. I've seen doctors refuse such "incentives", both old and young people. Some patients are "old-fashioned" and come with money/gifts and some doctors receive them, but most of the time you can choose to leave (or not) a small token of gratitude when you're released from hospital, or around Christmas, Women's Day, etc.

    Still: before or after surgery, you do pay up. Not the whole cost of the operation, of course (few people can afford that). It's a sum of money for the surgeon, another sum for the anesthetist. Something to ensure their goodwill. And such payments are the rule, not the exception.



    As to unlawful pensions -- during the economical crisis in the 90s many doctors tried to be kind and help out people who would otherwise lose their jobs: they declared them ill and they were able to retire for health reasons. Of course, in terms of economy, it was a bad move in the long run.
    But at the time they tried to keep individuals from losing all sources of income and I believe it rarely had anything to do with corruption.
     
  26. Mary Therés Senior Member

    English, Ireland
    The only bribing of doctors I've ever heard of here in Ireland is paying for medical certs to get time off work or in college to request extensions for assignments. There are GPs who are known for writing such certs without ever even seeing the patient.
     
  27. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    Oh well, I didn't mention this kind of bribing before, but it's indeed quite widespread in Italy as well.
    For some rationally inexplicable reasons some civil servants, teachers, postal employees tend to get sick the day before they are supposed to go back to work after a holiday or a long weekend..
    Needless to say they can always provide a medical certificate to prove they were in danger of death and really couldn't get back from their holidays when they were supposed to :)
     
  28. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    No need to bribe a GP for that in Austria.

    If you want to get a few days off work it is easy enough to call in sick at your GP and ask him to write a certificate for a couple of days.

    GPs will usually do so even if you're barely sick enough to call in sick. And if you're not, doctors won't give you a certificate anyway, or say, not for a bribe - they only might do so if you're very close friends with him or her: reason being, a doctor would risk his reputation (which he might do for friendship, but certainly not for a few euros).
     
  29. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    This is a good point: a serious and honest doctor wouldn't want to risk his reputation.
    What about dishonest doctors?
    The problem is that some people don't want their GP to be a honest, incorruptible doctor. They want a muppet who's always willing to provide false medical certificates, useless prescriptions to buy drugs they don't actually need, but they want anyway and be always at their disposal.
    For these people, a GP who cares about his reputation and therefore is unwilling to fulfil each and every request they make is unfit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  30. Smithy73 Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    In the UK it is probably more common to bribe nurses. The NHS (free healthcare system here) has two main problems: long waiting lists and appauling aftercare. In terms of surgical practices and technology it is fantastic. Bribing a doctor here won't get you higher up on a waiting list so this would be useless. If you gave a nurse some chocolates though, or some flowers, (definately not money) you may get a better standard of aftercare (i.e. sheets changed more often e.t.c.).
     
  31. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well, actually there may be some around here in Austria who even might try to attract patients who are trying to get illness certificates. I'm no judge about this (don't know any myself, we'd probably need statistics of our National Health Board as to whether fraud on this level - or with pensions too, as mentioned earlier - are a problem here).

    I can only say that in my experience this should be rare - else I think I've had at least heard about it; or it would be a topic whenever our politicians are discussing the huge deficit caused by our health system, which they've done almost on a regular basis, regularly.

    So the only think I can say is that by default, as this isn't an issue in public discussion here in Austria, it shouldn't be a big problem in Austria - although it may exist.

    Actually, time spent on sick leave in Austria (which should be some kind of indicator, as far as bribing of GPs for getting such is concerned) has been on the decline for years and there only was a slight rise in 2009 (noted by the media, if I remember correctly): so it is actually more likely that Austrians tend to go to work even though ill instead of calling in sick in times of crisis: the reason being, obviously, that there's pressure from employers not to call in sick in times of crisis.

    But this of course does not mean that some bribing takes place, I wouldn't like to give the impression that Austria were paradise on earth - it definitely isn't. :)
     
  32. Jacobtm Senior Member

    NY
    English - New York
    Paul, I meant to speak about people in the USA receiving disability benefits, and I think here that the differences between European and American social programs comes to the fore here, where the benefits are slimmer and harder to access in the USA than in Europe.

    I don't know exact numbers, but disability benefits typically seem to be more than one's salary only if one is working for minimum wage (about $7 an hour, but different by state). If one actually finds work, their disability benefits are lost. So living on disability puts you at about $300 or $350 a week, which barely allows one to eat and pay the bills. I also don't believe that our disabilty benefits pay more for a more severe disability. I've known people who're wheelchair bound because of cerebral palsy, and the money they received was the same, barely above the salary they'd make on minimum wage.

    However, there are definitely people on disability who aren't rightly disabled, though I would assume that doctors take pity on their lack of ability/will to find a job, rather than expecting to get a bribe out of someone living on the money of a cashier.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  33. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Well about this point, I think it's kind of stupid if a doctor it's so "consider" I mean there are thousands of people who cannot find a job (more in this crisis) and I don't think that's fair. Maybe if a person had a terrible accident and you know you can help this person by "exagereting" a little bit the diagnostic. That's will be oK. But what you point about have pity just beacuse you are so lazy to find a job, that's to have corazón de pollo
     
  34. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    This is not the case in Italy, however: here corrupt doctors do it to make some extra money, not out of pity.
    They might do it also when the allegedly disabled people don't actually pay them any money, as long as these people are friends, relatives, colleagues or acquaintances of a politician, a police officer, a mafia guy etc, that is someone whose help might come in handy in the future..
     
  35. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Yeah just in this case but.... if you are giving someone a disability it's because he is not going to work again, so ¿? About mafia guys or police officer maybe their influence can help you, but those are very special situations, besides I suppose this guys has their own doctors
     
  36. Garbuz Senior Member

    Russian
    To give or not to give? You look at a doctor, the way s/he's talking, the way s/he's looking at you, and you guess what kind of person s/he is, and you figure out whether to give or not, what to give and how much to give. You should also know how to give to make it look like an act of gratitude, respect, etc. otherwise it may look offensive and have the opposite effect. Strange as it may seem, it all helps you to establish a sort of personal relationship with him/her. And it's not only about doctors, it's a rule when you come to any government controlled office. Would I prefer not to do it? Of course, I would. But let's be realistic. What with all those crazy laws and regulations, all of us need a little help from time to time. But you can always choose to be a never-to-give-a-bribe person, if you want your life to turn into a nightmare. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  37. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    Sorry if I didn't make myself clear :)
    A typical example: I'm a mafia guy and I want my 12 cousins to get a disability pension, that is some extra money.
    I pick up the phone and call the right (corrupt) doctor - "Hello there, this is Mr mafia guy. I would really appreciate it if you could see to it that my 12 cousins get a disability pension. You don't want to see your brand new car blow up, do you? I'm sure you don't..I'm also sure that once my 12 cousins get their pension, I can find a way to return this favour..".
    The doc can't really refuse to help me, but at the same time he receives something in return. Everyone is now happy :)
    Someone might say: well, that's not bribing, that's threatening the doctor!
    This is partially true in this specific example, but the point is that the mafia guys as well as politicians or whoever wants to unlawfully be granted a disability pension turn to these morally and ethically deplorable doctors who are willing to cooperate for money.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2010
  38. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English
    Here in Ontario, Canada bribing doctors is not done as far as I know. Our public health system does not allow for most private treatment, so we are stuck with long waits for just about any treatment. In Ontario the doctors have a list posted for charges not covered by the health care system - sick leave notes, get out of jury duty notes, examinations for job requirements, etc. Many people show their appreciation in small gifts after treatment or by donations to a medical institution. Donations are very popular gifts.
     
  39. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Although we have been taught bribing is bad, I am starting to feel it is a very comfortable way to get both parts satisfied. And I think it is still a lot cheaper than business based private sectors. State does not like it, because it can get no taxes out of it.
     
  40. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    You had clarified it very, very well!!!!! and I have to say i totally agree with you I suppose here in Mexico, Narco guys do the same in some cases.

    Well It is suppose we have to life in status-quo well all get what they need when they need it. Bribing will be against those principles...but hey wake-up Miguel We live in real world.
     
  41. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    http://milano.corriere.it/notizie/c...rescritte-troppe-medicine-1602292381147.shtml
    Another typical example of bribery involving doctors:
    Pharmaceutical companies bribe (or if you prefer, cut a sweetheart deal with) general practitioners by getting them gifts or usually paying for their holidays in some lovely and wild isles where the docs are supposed to go in order to attend a "conference".
    In exchange these not too honest doctors prescribe to their patients only those drugs that are produced and sold by a specific pharmaceutical company.
    Not only that: they prescribe more drugs than needed.
    Who pays for those drugs? Then Italian national health service.
    Docs are happy because they go on holidays for free.
    Patients are happy as their doc is so kind to prescribe whatever they want.
    Pharmaceutical companies are happy because their business is booming.
     
  42. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Here in Mexico that is almost imposible, almost all drugs you can get them without prescription, in a legal form, it's supposed the pharmacians must ask for a prescription in order to sell drugs, but this never happens, all person go to the drug store ask for the drug and it is given If you hace the money...no problem
     
  43. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    I think pharmaceutical companies tend to brieb doctors all over the world.
    What Miguelillo wrote is really very interesting and I cannot even belive that, ie. you get any drug without prescription. So you can get, let's say, opium-based drugs as well, I doubt.
     
  44. mirx Senior Member

    Español
    In Mexico drug store attendants are not at all concerned about that and people can most defintiely get whatever medicines they want without prescription. When I was in highschool some kids used to get up or down with diazepam. This is not common but people behind the counter at pharmacies many a time don't have any studies about pharmaceuticals and consecuently have no idea of the effects of drugs. Their job is to sell. About the bribing thing, I agree with Miguel. At leats in the public sector, all medicines are already provided by the government for free, patients or doctors don't have a say on this. If any bribery exists, it is between the government and pharmaceutical comapnies. If you decide to go private this is unlikely to happen, doctors are extremely well paid and I can't imagine them engaging in bribery. I do know, however, of doctors who send patients to specific clinics where they happen to be shareholders. Is this bribery, business expansion, self-promotion? I don't know, but I would do the same.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  45. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    This reminds me of a friend who went to med school in the eighties. One of his most interesting courses in second year involved dealing with pharmaceutical companies and recognizing all their ways of bribing and influencing doctors. Of course, it wasn't overt bribery, but much a much more subtle system of rewards and penalties.
     
  46. Tagarela Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Português - Brasil
    Hello,

    In Brazil we have this pharmaceutical thing two, in both ways, I mean, from companies to doctor and the matter of liberty of patients buying medications.
    Employees of pharmaceuticall companies usually visit doctors' offices and show them the new medication, give them some samples and so on. And they also pay for some leiseure weekends sometimes or make some propaganda in technicall conferences =).

    Regarding buying medications, we usually can get more drugs without prescription than we should, and no bribing is needed, they simply sell it.


    Good bye.:
     
  47. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    Well believe it!!!! As mirx has said almost all drugs can be sold to anyone, even a child can buy a big important legal drug, because there is no a law who rule that.

    You only need a prescription for public services, but (as mirk has already said too) the medicien it's provided for the government by free, the prescription it's merely a storage control.

    Even it's know many people in US border cross to Mexico in order to buy medicine ('cause the non prescription and also because it's cheaper) As a matter of fact It had been a thread about it, I'm gonna search it
     
  48. mirx Senior Member

    Español
    I am almost certain there is a law on the matter, whether it is enforced or not is a different story.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  49. Miguelillo 87

    Miguelillo 87 Senior Member

    Mexico City
    México español
    That's true!!! But as many laws in Mexico, they are only in paper.
     
  50. MOMO2 Senior Member

    Milan
    Italian
    It is very unusual to bribe MDs in Italy.
    It is usual to give presents to your GP (family medical doctor) for Christmas.
    I have never heard of bribes to be common. In this field.
    If you want to be treated faster you call a private hospital. I guess it will be cheaper than bribing and most of all it is legal.
    Still one example comes to my mind: some years ago a scandal was discovered in a private clinic in Rome where a very well known MD took very high bribes to practice illegal abortions. Abortion is legal in Italy up to the 12th week (I might be wrong on the exact week) but some women decide to do it later.
    However I do not think it is very common or I would have heard of more scandals.
     

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