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Gov't to curb corruption in medical procurement

(Xinhua)

08:30, October 23, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Authorities have pledged to further crack down on illegal activity regarding procurement procedures at local hospitals that are under the supervision of local governments, mainly at the provincial and prefectural levels.

Anyone who violates the law must be dealt with and punished, said Minister of Health Chen Zhu at a national conference on pharmaceutical procurement held in Beijing.

Online procurement will be widely adopted at the provincial level, said the minister, adding that he hopes online purchases will help ensure quality, bring prices down, regulate the sector and curb illegal activity.

Chen called for tougher scrutiny and stricter control over pharmaceutical purchases, as well as urged efforts to set up a system that will prevent hospitals from profiting from medication sales in order to deter excessive prescriptions. ' Domestic hospitals and clinics make significant profits by selling pharmaceuticals at high prices. Doctors have been known to prescribe expensive drugs in order to get kickbacks from manufacturers, increasing financial burdens for patients and causing confrontations between hospital staff and patients.

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