Seventy-four per cent of respondents in a recent set of polls said that corruption related to procurement/supplies is a common phenomenon at government hospitals while just 2 per cent said that was not the case. Twenty-four per cent were not sure about this.
Citizens' engagement platform LocalCircle conducted the surveys in the wake of a large number of children dying in government hospital's due to malfunctioning of equipment and unavailability of oxygen. The polls received more than 32,000 votes.
In the second poll, 59 per cent citizens agreed that theft and sale of supplies and medicines was a common phenomenon at government hospitals in their city. Three per cent did not agree with this while 38 per cent were unsure and didn't express an opinion.
"There have been many cases where the staff of government hospitals has been caught trying to sell medicines meant for the patients, to outsiders at a discounted price. Even the supplementary things like syringes and bandages are sold to outsiders through the back door. Most suppliers have to pay bribes to supply equipment/consumables in Govt hospitals from qualification to orders to getting their bills paid," LocalCircles said in a statement.
The third poll asked people the primary reason why they go to government hospitals. A mere 15 per cent said they trust them more than private hospitals and 16 per cent said they go there due to their low costs. Surprisingly, a large 65 per cent said they do not go to government hospitals at all and four per cent said government hospitals are the only option in their city.
"After corruption was identified as one of the root cause of poor quality of services in state government hospitals, the last poll asked consumers how can corruption be drastically reduced at state government hospitals in India," the statement added.
Forty-one per cent said corruption can be reduced by strengthening state anti-corruption units, 18 per cent said that it could be done by privatising these hospitals and 29 per cent said making electronic procurement mandatory could help in reducing corruption.