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Postcommunism from WithinSocial Justice, Mobilization, and Hegemony$
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Jan Kubik and Amy Linch

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724262

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724262.001.0001

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Informal Payments to Doctors

Informal Payments to Doctors

Corruption or Social Protest?

Chapter:
(p.333) Chapter Nine Informal Payments to Doctors
Source:
Postcommunism from Within
Author(s):

Rasma Karklins

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814724262.003.0009

Informal payments to health care providers remain a common practice in former communist countries. Such payments are defined as the under-the-table remuneration of medical personnel in publicly financed health-care systems. In gaining access to health services, unofficial payments are most frequently made for hospital stays, especially for surgery or consultations with specialists. This chapter investigates the signification of this practice of informal payments: Does this particular informal approach to problem solving constitute a form of social protest, a helpful adjustment of an imperfect system, or a form of corruption? It argues that unofficial payments for medical care within the public health-care systems of the postcommunist region are an example of an informal practice that is in the main detrimental to the public good and reform efforts.

Keywords:   postcommunism, informal payments, medical personnel, public health care systems, informal practice, public good

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