Ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day, which is observed on December 9 every year, 2 out of 5 Indians admitted, in a country-wide survey to having paid bribe to avail treatment related to COVID-19, especially for “getting admission/bed/ventilator/medicines either for self or someone”, “getting information about something or visiting someone in the ICU room”, and “reducing bill value or timely insurance processing”. However the survey made it clear that the bribes were not paid to doctors and nurses at a hospital, other staff, especially hospital administrators and other staff like ward boy, took bribes during the COIVD-19 second wave.
The survey was conducted by social engagement platform LocalCircles, which over the past week sought responses from 16,000 people from over 317 districts across the country. Of these, 68% of the participants were men, while 32% were women.
International Anti-Corruption Day is observed to raise awareness on the importance of getting rid of corruption. Corruption affects every area in our society and preventing corruption unlocks progress towards sustainable development goals. LocalCircles conducted survey to understand corruption that took place at hospitals during the second COVID-19 wave.
39% PAID BRIBE DURING COVID-19 SECOND WAVE
The second wave of COVID in India was primarily led by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. It soon spread across the country so causing chaos across hospitals to face shortages of hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, medicines, oxygen and all things COVID.
The survey asked citizens, “If you or a family member paid a bribe at a hospital during the 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, what was it for?” Of the 8,970 people who responded, 61% said they “did not pay a bribe for COVID-related treatment at a hospital”.
However, of those respondents who got COVID-related treatment at a hospital, 39% of citizens surveyed had to pay a bribe. 32% paid it for “getting an admission/bed/ventilator/medicines either for self or someone”, 4% paid a bribe for “getting information about something or visiting someone in the ICU room”, and 3% paid it for “reducing bill value or timely insurance processing.”
82% PAID BRIBE TO GET ADMITTED IN HOSPITAL
The survey also found that 82% paid it for “getting an admission/bed/ventilator/medicines for self or someone”, 9% paid it to “get information about something or visiting someone in the ICU room”, and another 9% had to pay it for “reducing our bill value or timely insurance processing”.
NO ONE PAID A BRIBE TO A DOCTOR OR NURSE
The second question sought to know whom the bribe was paid. In response, 27% said they paid a bribe to a “hospital administration staff”, another 28% said they paid it to a “ward boy,” 9% paid it to a “facilitator (local politician or leader, Government employee, middlemen)”, another 9% paid it to a “pharmacy or a chemist”, while 27% paid it to “other hospital staff”.
Notably, there weren’t any citizens who admitted to having paid a bribe to a doctor or a nurse when the option was given. On an aggregate basis, 82% of citizens surveyed admitted paying a bribe to administration staff and other staff members of the hospital. This question in the survey received 7,249 responses.