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My Experience in Poland (compared to Germany)

27 Sep 2017 #91
Is bribery not common practice in the health service? I know of someone who was in hospital, where the treatment and attention of the staff was not great. Only after a bribe was made did the attitude of the staff improve (more, better attention, speeded up processes). I was told by the Poles involved that this was normal - in a hospital you'll get basic care, and the general dismissive borderline-rude treatment that we have all had from service providers. But a bribe to the doctor will result in your tests done on time, better general care of your needs, and maybe a better situation in the hospital. This was SE Poland.
mafketis 29 | 10,321
27 Sep 2017 #92
Is bribery not common practice in the health service?

I'm in western Poland and for regular treatment.... not really. As in the rural US there was/is a tradition of giving doctors 'gifts' (candy, alcohol, stuff like that) after treatment and/or being a private patient of a doctor in the hospital (so they have an incentive to make sure you're treated well) but the growth of private practices has taken away most of those incentives.

For some kinds of specialist treatments I've heard of bribes to get to the head of the line but a well known specialist was recently arrested for that. So the presence of sting operations will probably reduce that.
Roger5 1 | 1,455
27 Sep 2017 #93
Is bribery not common practice in the health service?

It is usually more subtle than just an envelope full of banknotes. As maf says, things are changing, but I've certainly had experience of doctors encouraging patients to visit them privately, with the implication that they will be moved higher up the list for treatment.

I had a very strange experience a couple of years ago. Not wanting to wait months for an appointment with a dermatologist, I decided to pay 100PLN for a private consultation. Time was tight and I expected to be seen at the appointed hour. I was kept waiting for 40 mins, and when I finally saw the doc I politely complained that I had gone private because I didn't want to be kept waiting. He got pretty angry, slapped my 100PLN note down on his desk and threw me out. It was hilarious. In my youth I was kicked out of a pub or two, but I never expected to be ejected from a doctor's surgery.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,816
27 Sep 2017 #94
The bribery comes from PRL times. People would bribe docs with commodities that were hard to obtain or simply cash to get an appointment quicker, move up the list, or simply get a 'sick' note. In some public hospitals this continues esp for more serious issues or to see a specialist more quickly. You can buy just about anything and anyone for the right price. Everyone's got their price - for some it's not even money...

100 zloty would be an insult. 100 dollars is a different story. That's usually the bare minimum bribe for even a minor/traffic offense paid to a Russian cop let alone a PL doc.
Roger5 1 | 1,455
27 Sep 2017 #95
The 100 I referred to was not an attempted bribe. It was the fee asked for at a private clinic.
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,816
27 Sep 2017 #96

Ah I see. that's kind of weird they asked you to leave though esp if you paid the fee....
Lyzko 32 | 7,927
27 Sep 2017 #97
What I simply meant was that bribery is and was common in Poland, more so perhaps during Communism, yet nonetheless alive and well as we speak!

Certainly there are honest people who eschew such corrupt practices, in Russia, Italy and elsewhere as well. The point is though that what works in business abroad, especially in former Black Market economies, also translates perfectly into American business and occurs on a daily basis.

And it obviously isn't confined to passing a small envelope sereptitiously under the table either. It may be done via "referral" aka "recommendation" from one's priest, monsignor, fellow employee etc., favors trading and that sort of thing.

Dirk diggler 9 | 4,816
27 Sep 2017 #98

Its more commonly referred to as agent fees, commissions, or consulting fees. Those are usually the terms used to justify a bribe or the type of entry used in the books.
Lyzko 32 | 7,927
27 Sep 2017 #99
True, Dirk! However, there's no denying that there's also an awful lot of wiggle room within those parameters you mentioned:-)
Dirk diggler 9 | 4,816
27 Sep 2017 #100
It used to be really bad in the med device and pharma industry. Reps would go to doctors offices and offer them everything from cash vouches, to vacations, to computers, tablets, etc. for buying their devices or prescribing a certain amount of pills. The rules have changed a lot in the past few years. Now the reps encourage doctors to attend a brief 1-2 day conference at some hotel for which the company pays the airfare, hotel (usually a 4-5 star one), meals, etc on top of a fee which can be $1k $2k to even 5 or 6 figures depending on the docs reputation, type of event, etc. simply for giving a speech on how great medicine XYZ is and how much the docs patients like it. In other parts of the world, especially India now, the cash payments for a prescribing medicine continues.

As far as Poland though, idk how the situation is as far as practitioners rx'ing certain meds and admins for buying med devices, etc.

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