China is emerging as one of the world’s attractive and fast growing market in pharmaceuticals, medicine and consumerism. And the factors responsible for the boom in the market are overburden of diseases, continuing urbanization, etc. The medical world has become an industry where treachery and bribery is playing a pivotal role.
The dictionary says that a bribe is a dishonest attempt to persuade someone to act in one’s favour by a payment or other inducement. Studies have shown that a physician is influenced by company payments and also that outcomes of clinical trials are much favourable for a company’s products when the company supervises the trial compared to physicians not receiving any payments from the company.
Medical study in China
In China a medical student needs 5 years to complete the undergraduate education and when they have completed this training they realize that this 5 year training is not sufficient to provide a promising future for their career. And, to improve chances they need to get a MD or PhD degree and end up spending more 6years on getting their education. Probably, with their aged parents striving in another side of the country to earn the hefty tuition fees for their children.
Cause of bribery and treachery in medical industry
After spending huge amounts of money on medical education when a student successfully becomes a qualified doctor, one tries to reimburse the money which one had spent on medical education. And, so when their salary or fees is not sufficient in repaying their education loan fast , they start taking bribes or increasing their fees two fold three fold in regular intervals.
They even become victims of different rackets, and the advantage is being taken by Pharmaceutical companies. Basically, pharmaceutical companies provide physician’s incentives to influence their prescribing of the company products even if it is of inferior quality or not the best.
There was a recent study in which it was found that Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) provided funds to physicians in China to influence their prescribing.
In a China’s hospital it is a regular scenario, where after a regular round of checkups when the physician goes to ones cabin one sees that a lunch has been organized at the luncheon and a person standing in front of it invites the physician saying that a seminar is going on inside about new drugs that has been invented.
When the physician goes in to attend the seminar this is one’s first step towards this racket. After this the new drugs are introduced to the physicians and they are even informed that if they prescribe these to their patients they are going to get incentives. The physicians are deliberately lured into this and are specially the newly qualified physicians. The Pharmaceutical companies also bear the travelling expense of vacations or international or domestic meetings of physicians.
Even Private Hospital are not exception
Even the private hospitals are taking huge advantage of it. They are updating their machinery, endorsing modern machinery of pharmaceutical companies. They lure them. Patients by the fact that public hospitals have no modern equipments and do not use modern ways so they will the deteriorate the condition of the patient.
And as a result the patients end spending huge amounts of money in their treatment sometimes even when they do not need it, they even end up doing all types of pathological tests and spending their when they even don’t need to do so. In all of this, outdated healthcare models are left to stagnate and public hospitals are left to deteriorate.
Poor people are facing the bad situation
In some cases, poor families are exploited and are forced to give bribes or spend lots of money in the process of treatment. And, are given high priced medicines to get additional incentives even if there is a substitute or a better version of that medicine in low cost.
It has also been seen that poor patients do not get admission to hospitals for their inability to pay fees or patients dying due to the negligence of medical staff. The hospitals are more concerned in maximising their profits more than doing charity or improving the health of their patients. Some patients even die not getting their due treatment in time.
Physicians are also getting involved in rackets like child selling or organ selling. Here, the physician illegally operates upon a patient and sells ones organs to the other person for money. They force the patients into doing all types of pathological tests which the patient does not even need to. Diagnosis and dialysis are done with hidden charges later revealed to the patients. Patients are not treated as patients who are sick and come for treatment but are treated as consumers who have come to buy goods or services. The world of medicines becoming a medical industry day by day, where patients are continuously exploited.
The physicians should be more human in understanding their patient’s needs, and also should consider their duty towards the nation and their patients because that is their ultimate aim. They have to be put their duty first and do that with complete dedication and sincerity.
They should treat patients with utmost care and provide them with medical facilities which they need and not overburden them with medical tests and spend their hard earned money in it.
The pharmaceutical companies should stop paying physicians and should try to make advanced medical goods and services at a low cost. Their ultimate aim should be better medical facilities and not sales or profit maximisation.
Public hospitals should try to update their machineries and win back the confidence of the patients.
The Government should even build medical camps and make awareness among the common people about the loopholes of the medical industry. And, how then can avoid it. They should try to train commoners the basics of medical services like first aid.
It should be remembered that medical profession is a noble profession and physicians from the age old are considered next to the Supreme. The trust and faith of the common people should not be exploited.