Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Envelopes Stuffed With Cash" Help Montreal Patients Jump the Queue for Medical Treatment

I'd call that de facto "two tier" medicine, wouldn't you? From the Province:

MONTREAL — Two Montreal cardiologists are facing disciplinary charges over allegations of medical kickbacks, the Montreal Gazette has learned.

The Quebec College of Physicians has concluded a 14-month investigation after the Gazette reported doctors at several Montreal hospitals routinely accepted bribes from patients to fast-track services to publicly funded health care.

Patients told the Gazette they regularly give envelopes stuffed with cash for preferential treatment and for obstetricians to show up for deliveries.

Patients confessed to slipping $100 bills under the pillow before going into the operating room and making up to $10,000 in under-the-table payments at doctors' offices.

Some complained of surgeons demanding nearly $1,000 for "administrative fees" while simultaneously billing the RAMQ, the health insurance board.

While top health officials initially called it a marginal affair and a rare situation at a few facilities, doctors and patients called it "an open secret."...


Carlos Perera said...

Reminds me of the way medicine is practiced in Cuba, where, if you don't slip the doc some hard currency, or its equivalent in durable goods, you wind up in a dirty, uncovered bed, in a room without screens to keep out the many and sundry tropical bugs, and no amenities of any kind (unless, of course, you're a member of the _nomeklatura_, which would entitle you to First-World-level service in a well-appointed modern hospital, without having to pay a bribe). No wonder Quebeckers seem to have a natural affinity for Castro's Cuba!

scaramouche said...

A "natural affinity" borne of a culture of corruption--yes. But their shared Zionhass brings 'em closer together, too. (As an aside, everyone always talks about how mega-obese Americans are, but when we vacationed in an all-inclusive resort--a really nice one--on the Mayan Riviera this past December, the fattest people there were from Quebec. Many of them were ginormous. I suspect that that's an, ahem, really big drain on the Quebec health care system.)