Vendors, hospital officials anchor corrupt healthcare culture in China

A culture of corruption allows giant companies like General Electric, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba to bribe Chinese government and hospital officials into purchasing expensive medical equipment, including imaging modalities, according to a lengthy piece published by the New York Times.

The Times analyzed dozens of Chinese court cases and internal corporate documents alongside interviews with insiders for their story. In one case filed in 2016, a hospital administrator—Wu Dagong— was offered more than $1 million by two GE sales representatives to close the sale of a $4 million CT scanner.

In that case, “Mr. Wu also took a bribe — the $220,000 in bricks of bills packed in a suitcase — from a G.E. sales contractor, who walked with Mr. Wu to his car and left the suitcase in the trunk. Mr. Wu was sentenced to 15 years.”

After its all said and done, the people of China are the ones who feel the cost of corruption as prices for equipment sold to hospitals are inflated by 50% or more in some cases, according to the Times reporting.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating Siemens AG, Philips NV and General Electric over potentially using intermediaries to set up bribes with Chinese government and hospital officials to sell medical equipment.

Read the entire New York Times story below.