China’s Ministry of Health (MOH) recently introduced draft guidelines that would require doctors and patients to sign a no-bribery agreement prior to hospitalization.
The guidelines would reinforce the anti-corruption items in the medical workers’ code of conduct introduced by MOH last month.
Media reaction to the no-bribery agreement proposal has been decidedly skeptical. A freelancer for the Beijing Morning Post wrote that patients would feel uneasy about the medical treatment they would receive if they were prevented from delivering the customary cash-filled red envelope to their doctor.
A Beijing lawyer was quoted as saying, “The red packet itself is already an under-table practice, what good will it do to put it on paper? This is a moral issue, and should be handled by (one’s own) conscience.”
Source: China Daily, Xinhua News (新华社), Beijing Morning Post (北京晨报), Shenzhen Evening News (深圳晚报)
Ben Kessler is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog. He serves as managing editor of ethiXbase. A version of this post first appear in the China Compliance Digest Rx Edition.
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