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Corrupt Beijing doctors urged to pay back bribes

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, June 7 (Reuters) Beijing health officials have called on corrupt doctors and other medical staff to hand over bribes taken from patients or drug companies and are to open a bank account to deposit the cash, state media said today.

The account would open for public scrutiny, the Beijing News said, and medical workers who had received bribes since 2001 were urged to hand over the cash.

''Regardless of whether they are common doctors, nurses or hospital administrators, all who have received discounts or commissions for medicine, equipment, or other sources of inappropriate income, must hand them in to their hospital's bribery administration office,'' the Beijing News quoted the municipal health bureau as saying.

Bribe-taker blacklists would also be posted publicly and offenders would be banned from working in hospitals for two years, the paper said.

It did not say how the payments would be enforced or whether health authorities expected anyone to comply.

Deregulation of China's health-care industry over the decades of economic reform has resulted in widespread corruption in hospitals scrambling to make up funding shortfalls.

Hospitals have resorted to charging exorbitant premiums for medical care and prescriptions, while patients have resorted to bribing doctors to jump lengthy queues and secure preferential treatment.

China has pledged to clean up the country's ailing health care system which which remains beyond the means of most citizens.

But a rash of scandals involving overcharging, bogus drugs and medical malpractice continue to dog the industry.

Reuters SK GC0854

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