In Vietnam, corruption in the health sector is considered a serious problem by both the government and citizens at large. The country’s health system is particularly susceptible to corruption due to uncertainty, asymmetry of information between health officials and patients, and conflicts of interest between health officials and private companies.
Corruption manifests itself in many forms: it can involve political influence in defining health and drug policy; bribery to influence procurement processes for construction of health facilities or purchase of equipment/supplies and pharmaceuticals; fraudulent billing for services provided; and over-provision of services; selling and buying positions; absenteeism; and informal payments, among others. It has serious consequences in terms of access, quality, equity and effectiveness of health care services.
The government has designed a series of reforms directly aimed at improving the country’s health governance framework. While assessments of the impact of these reforms are still lacking, the government, experts and civil society organisations have acknowledged that more needs to be done in order to reduce corruption and improve health delivery in the country, including improvements in internal and external controls, simplification of administrative rules, establishment of conflicts of interest law, and engagement of citizens.
Author(s): Maira Martini, Transparency International, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Marie Chêne, Transparency International; Dr. Finn Heinrich, Transparency International
Publication date: 4 February 2013
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