Voluntarily Chinese medical staff turned in 240 million yuan (US$30 million) in a crackdown on illegal "gifts" and commissions and other corrupt practices in the country’s health system.
The authorities have investigated 2,535 reports of commercial corruption in the medicine and medical appliance trade this year involving 606 million yuan (US$77.69 million).
The State Council on Wednesday heard the government had taken measures to end the trade such as reducing the price of medicines, increasing penalties for illegal medical practitioners and those publishing false medical advertising.
Former director of the Medical Apparatus Department under China's State Food and Drug Administration, Hao Heping, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on November 28 for taking bribes and illegal possession of firearms. The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court also jailed Hao's wife, Fu Yuqing, for five years for taking bribes.
Wang Zhenchuan, Deputy Procurator-General with the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said earlier that corruption mainly occurred in construction, land acquisition, ownership transfers of state-owned enterprises, government procurement, medicine and medical appliances trade, banking and securities and futures.
China had investigated 13,376 reports of commercial corruption from August 2005 to October 2006, said sources with the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision.
The cases involved 3.76 billion yuan (US$482 million) while 3,128 cases involved civil servants including 71 officials at department head level and 543 at county head level, sources said.
This year 2.6 million government institutions and enterprises have conducted internal regulation and correction. Institutions and personnel have been urged to report immoral or irregular transactions and submit income earned from such deals.
By the end of October the voluntarily submitted income totaled 410 million yuan. And the government has instituted 74,000 regulations and rules in different fields to combat commercial corruption.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2006)