The Proliferation of Corrupt Activities in Public Health Systems during the Global Covid-19 Pandemic, pp. 1-22
The health-care sector should aim at maintaining and improving the quality of life and individual welfare of each patient, but this is difficult when corruption pervades one or more of the pillars of health-care services such as the structure, organisation, financing, and/or delivery systems. Health systems are particularly susceptible to corruption due to the very large amounts of monetary resources involved, information asymmetries, the large number and wide distribution of actors, system complexity and fragmentation, and the increasingly advanced international supply chain of medicines and medical equipment. Corruption weakens the effective functioning of health systems and usually contributes to their progressive deterioration. The extent, nature, and impact of corrupt practices within the health-care sector remain one of the main challenges to governments across the world.
These practices include absenteeism, informal payments, fraud, mismanagement of funds, and the theft and embezzlement of medicines and medical devices. Health systems continue to perform under pressure and some of them are stretched beyond their capacity as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Responding to this health emergency and successfully minimising its negative effects requires that large-scale public health resource investments are carried out. However, these large investments can create a fertile environment for the growth of corrupt and illegal activities. The purpose of this article is, therefore, to discuss and analyse in depth the causes and consequences of corruption in the health-care sector during the global Covid-19 crisis.