Bribes common when vendors sell imaging equipment to Chinese hospitals

Leading imaging vendors regularly bribe government officials in China to get their products in area hospitals, according to an in-depth report from the New York Times.

New York Times reporters Alexandra Stevenson and Sui-Lee Wee interviewed numerous insiders and reviewed dozens of court cases and internal documents. Employees of General Electric, Philips and Siemens all testified in court that they had bribed hospital officials. The court cases, however, were not aimed at punishing the imaging vendors—they were designed to take on the Chinese officials who accept these bribes.

And who suffers the most due to the repeated bribes? According to Stevenson and Wee, it’s the same patients the equipment was designed to help.

“China’s nearly 1.4 billion people ultimately bear the cost of the corruption,” according to the report. “Salespeople inflated prices for equipment to fund bribes and kickbacks, the Chinese court documents show. They also refused to undercut one another’s pricing, the documents showed, inflating prices for hospitals by 50 percent or even more.”

Click below to read the full story from the New York Times.