Corruption has deep roots in every field in Pakistan. We are all highly aware of the corruption that runs into billions of rupees, but it is the small-scale corruption that we don’t take notice, which is slowly spreading its tentacles in society. The health sector’s basic purpose is to serve humanity. However, the saviours of life – the medical staff and hospitals, have altered their roles and seem to have become members of business organisations with the sole purpose of making money. The corruption that takes place in the health sector is small, but the damage it causes to a patient’s life is unsurmountable.
The medical staff in government hospitals not only challenges the integrity of a respected and trustworthy profession, but also makes it impossible for a low-income person to seek medical help when needed. The new tricks that healthcare professionals have adopted to siphon off extra money from patients, includes asking for bribes to jump the queue, extending hospital stays in order to drive up bills that the patient owes, and misguiding patients to consult specialists who charge high fees. In Pakistan, we have heard about corruption in pharmaceutical companies, but the corrupt practices that take place every day in public and even private hospitals, are ignored. It is high time our government took initiatives to make the health sector corruption-free.