U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

Can you provide an overview of corruption as well as anti-corruption in Bangladesh. We are particularly interested in the health sector?

Purpose

The report is to be used as background documentation for a workshop on corruption in the health sector.

Content

  1. Overview of corruption in Bangladesh
  2. Special focus on the health sector
  3. Governance structure and anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh
  4. References

Summary

Politics in Bangladesh can be characterised as a battle between established elites over state resources. A culture of confrontational politics between the country’s two main parties has weakened the rule of law and led to the politicisation of state institutions, including the judiciary and bureaucracy. At the same time, political parties and parliament are increasingly being taken over by powerful business interests. Thus, despite a relatively strong legal framework, weak implementation and political interference undermine anti-corruption efforts in Bangladesh.

As a result, corruption is an endemic problem in Bangladesh at all levels of society. Although bribery rates have declined over the past five years, the amount of unauthorised money paid for receiving public services is in fact estimated to have increased.

Despite recent gains in healthcare provision, the health sector also faces numerous corruption challenges. More than 40% of health service users report facing different kinds of corrupt practices. As well as bribery and unauthorised payments, irregularities include politically influenced recruitment, transfers and promotions of healthcare professionals, irregularities in the procurement of drugs and equipment, unregistered and unqualified doctors operating in private healthcare facilities, and absenteeism.

Authors

Andy McDevitt, Transparency International , tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

17/06/2015

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