We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems

Document Type: Editorial

Authors

1 Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

2 Department of Public Health & Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Abstract

The health sector consistently appears prominently in surveys of perceived corruption, with considerable evidence that this has serious adverse consequences for patients. Yet this issue is far from prominent in the international health policy discourse. We identify five reasons why the health policy community has been reluctant to talk about it. These are the problem of defining corruption, the fact that some corrupt practices are actually ways of making dysfunctional systems work, the serious challenges to researching corruption, concerns that a focus on corruption is a form of victim blaming that ignores larger issues, and a lack of evidence about what works to tackle it. We propose three things that can be done to address this situation. First, seek consensus on the scale and nature of corruption. Second, decide on priorities, taking account the importance of the particular problem and the feasibility of doing something about it. Third, take a holistic view, drawing on a wide range of disciplines.

Highlights

 

Commentaries Published on this Paper

 

  • High Stakes Require More Than Just Talk: What to Do About Corruption in Health Systems; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Some Things Are Rarely Discussed in Public – on the Discourse of Corruption in Healthcare; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • All It Takes for Corruption in Health Systems to Triumph, Is Good People Who Do Nothing; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • I Know It When I See It: The Challenges of Addressing Corruption in Health Systems; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • It Will Take a Global Movement to Curb Corruption in Health Systems; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Demystify False Dilemmas to Speak About Corruption in Health Systems: Different Actors, Different Perspectives, Different Strategies; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • We Need to Measure and Address Corruption and Poor Governance in Health Systems; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Opening the Policy Window to Mobilize Action Against Corruption in the Health Sector; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Corruption – Taking a Deeper Dive; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Not Up for Discussion: Applying Lukes’ Power Model to the Study of Health System Corruption; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Our Blind Spots in the Fight Against Health Systems Corruption; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Corruption in Health Systems: The Conversation Has Started, Now Time to Continue it; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Why We Must Talk About Institutional Corruption to Understand Wrongdoing in the Health Sector; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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  • Changing the Conversation, Why We Need to Reframe Corruption as a Public Health Issue; Comment on “We Need to Talk About Corruption in Health Systems”

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Authors' Response to the Commentaries

 

  • Beyond Talking: We Need Effective Measures to Tackle Systemic Corruption and the Power That Allows It to Persist in Health Systems; A Response to Recent Commentaries

          Abstract | PDF

 

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