TI: Corruption and fraud in the German healthcare system

The German chapter of anti-corruption organisation Transparency International had another close look at the German healthcare system. And it didn't like what it found: In an updated policy paper, member of the board of directors Anke Martiny, deplores that "huge amounts of money belonging to the insured are lost" due to lack of transparency, to corruption and fraud.

TI deplores lack of transparency of the German health system. Photo:...
TI deplores lack of transparency of the German health system. Photo: Transperancy International Deutschland e.V.

Transparency Germany particularly disapproves of the unclear practices regarding discount agreements negotiated by the statutory health insurers and the poorly regulated distribution of pharmaceuticals and their ingredients. The organisation moreover criticises the lack of transparency in the work of the European Medicines Agency and that institution’s dependency on the pharma industry.
 
“Huge amounts of money belonging to the insured are lost because of uneconomical, wasteful and dubious practices. According to estimates provided by experts of the European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network, between three and ten percent of the healthcare budgets throughout Europe are lost because of fraud and corruption. This translates into billions of Euro in Germany”“, says Anke Martiny, member of the board of directors of Transparency International Germany, during the presentation of the updated edition of the policy paper “Transparenzmängel, Korruption und Bertrug im deutschen Gesundheitswesen. Kontrolle und Prävention als gesellschaftliche Aufgabe”.
 
The German healthcare system is intransparent, fragmented and guided by many special interests – and thus corruption-prone. This continuing systemic weakness is caused by the decentralised administration of the healthcare system and by the transfer of activities and control measures from the state to bodies of the healthcare system that are subject to public law.
 
“We want to make everybody who is in one way or the other involved in the healthcare system – that means approximately 90 percent of the population – aware of the shady areas in the system. Germany ranks third worldwide in terms of healthcare costs, in terms of services provided and outcome for public health, however, the performance is rather mediocre compared to other industrialised countries,” Martiny added.
 
The article is also available in German, to read it please click here
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25.06.2008

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