CHINA / National

China moves to crush bribery in health sector
Updated: 2006-04-12 16:54

China's Ministry of Health on Tuesday appointed a team to lead the national crackdown on commercial bribery in the health sector.

The team, headed by Health Minister Gao Qiang, will implement the guidelines and policies set by the CPC Central Committee and State Council in the crackdown throughout the health system, said a ministry spokesman.

It will also liaise with other government departments in prosecuting cases of corruption, said the official.

A whistle-blower's hot-line, mail address and the Health Minister's e-mail address on the ministry website have been made public.

In China, some companies and individuals offered commissions to health officials and staff to secure contracts for substandard drugs and medical equipments, resulting in many medical accidents, said the official.

Some doctors prescribed expensive drugs for which they received kickbacks and caused public complaints and distrust of hospitals.

"Commercial bribery has severely affected the reputation and public confidence of the nation's public health services and triggered corruption and crime. It must be stopped," Gao Qiang said.

Investigations would be conducted into illegal deals in the trade of drugs and medical equipments, bribery cases and corruption. And abuse of office by health officials would be prosecuted in the courts as soon as they are detected.


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