Not all medical professions are corrupt but majority of professionals become corrupt after coming into professional. No one is corrupt by birth. Situations and surrounding throw a person into corruption. We regret for this article and feel sorry for honest and professionals.
There are three types of persons generally we encounter in daily life:
- Persons having own standards
- Persons having compromisable standards
- Persons having no standards
Same is applicable to healthcare professionals. They are also human being.
Here we will try to find out the reason behind corruption in medical line and society most respected person is forced to indulge into corruption.
Reason 1: Highly Competitive Market: Medical sector is highly competitive. Companies use every weapon to sell it’s product. How will you convince a person to do your favor when you don’t have any special products . That’s in case of medical companies, every company has similar products and they try to convince doctors to prescribe their brands. When they fail to distinguish their brand from others, offering money, gifts, tours and freebies against prescription starts. In starting freebies amount is small. As this practice continue for long term, it becomes habit. In recent time, new doctors get this practice hereditary. They learn from seniors and indulge in this practice. Now it become a prescription generation tool. Some doctors don’t write any single brand without any commercial benefits.
Reason 2: Expensive Medical Education: In India completing medical degree is one of the hardest and expensive one. For completing a MBBS degree requires 6 years and investment of not less than 60 lac. A person who invested this huge amount will want to justify his expenditures . A 60000 salary government job or only reliability at OPD patients consultancy fees can’t overcome huge investment burden. The cost of study also throw a doctor to indulge into freebies with pharma companies. One of our known doctor who were sharing his first experience of freebies says,”He had 20 lac study loan. He arranged nearly 20 to 25 lac from near and dears to give donation of 50 lac to take a admission in a medical college. First few years he do job in governmental hospitals. Major part of his salary went to installment of study loan. After paying installment what he left, couldn’t justify his day/night job.”
Reason 3: Freebies Culture: In medical profession, freebies have become culture. It has been part of daily routine. No one consider it bad thing. Medical companies don’t hesitate to provide freebies and doctors don’t hesitate to receive. It has become primary ritual to get started prescription at many places. Now its a marketing strategy. How much a company afford to spend at doctors is directly proportional to sale of that company.
Reason 4: Shortage of Doctors: In India, there are less doctors as compare to patients. India has approximately 1 doctor at 1681 patients. Shortage of Doctors decrease competition level, hence decrease quality of treatment and increase cost of treatment. If there is enough doctors available in India, then Doctors will want to provide best treatment at effective cost. Shortage of doctors is also one of the main reason of increased corruption in pharmaceutical sector.
Reason 5: High Margins: High Margins are also root cause of corruption. Pharmaceutical companies get huge amount of profit margin. This margin is used to lucre healthcare professionals to conduct unethical practice. Expensive gifts, money distribution, foreign tours, high profile seminar arrangements are common things that are used by pharmaceutical companies to get generate prescription.