Corruption in the field of health is high in the EEC region, with differences between countries (the reasons are inherited structural errors, low wages, underfunded institutions). Informal payments are widespread in CEE countries, especially in Ukraine, Romania, Lithuania and Hungary. In Hungary, over 60% of women make informal payments during maternity care, which makes such payments a habit in maternity hospitals. A recent study in Hungary shows that the probability of an informal payment to a doctor chosen by the patient is even higher, with over 80%. Moreover, discussions with health experts show that, in addition to the bribe paid to the various specialists involved in maternity care, mothers end up making "involuntary contributions" for various materials that are missing from hospitals, which accounts for about a third of medical expenses. Romania and Hungary (double the EU average). This has catastrophic effects especially on low-income households.
The project was made to better understand why gifts (informal payments, "atenții" in Romanian) are offered in maternities through a questionnaire for new parents.
Who and why do patients offer gifts? What do they expect in return? Do they do it because it's the way things are done? Can the refuse offering gifts? In addition to the payment info, we wanted to find out more about individual experiences in maternity hospitals, through questions about conditions, procedures and the relationship with the medical staff.
We looked for answers to these questions, but also to other similar ones - we wanted to see what the impact of corruption is on birthing, to raise awareness on the problem and, with the help of experts, to look for solutions.
1st of October 2018 - 31st of December 2019