Bribes and referrals from public to private institutions

  • Find it in the Law:
    Law on Health, Law on Rights and Obligations in Healthcare
  • Who is responsible:
    You and your healthcare institution
  • Who can help me:
    Labour inspectorate, police
Tags: ,

You are seeking treatment in a public health care institution but the medical worker is asking you for a bribe to complete the servicesto which you are entitled, or he/she is referring you to a private clinic when those services can be completed in the public institution. You should know that the law protects you from such corruptive practices and can punish medical professionals for engaging in them. The Law on Health clearly states that giving financial rewards to medical professionals is strictly prohibited. As far as referrals to other institutions are concerned, the Law on Health and the Law on Rights and Obligations in Healthcare both state that that medical institutions can do so only if they are not able to treat the particular case and have medical reasons for doing so. On the other hand, referrals to private institutions without any medical justifications are strictly prohibited.

Public healthcare institutions should have statutes and codes of ethics that regulate unethical behavior and develop mechanisms for addressing them within the institution. It is ultimately your responsibility to alert supervisors or managers to the unethical behavior of medical professionals.

According to the Law on the Health Inspectorate, the latter is tasked with monitoring the implementation of all legislation related to the health sector, and is obliged to report any breaches of the law to the Ministry of Health, which in turn can issue administrative and/or other fines to the medical institutions. You might also want to alert security officials such police officers as bribes also fall within the domain of the Criminal Code.


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