Nearly 62% EU residents used personal contacts to get access to healthcare: Survey

WION Web Team
Brussels, Belgium Published: Jun 15, 2021, 06:47 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in Europe Photograph:( AFP )

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Almost a third of residents in the EU countries have used their personal connections to access health care services during the Covid pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic sent hundreds of thousands of people into lockdown and negatively affected everyone’s day-to-day life. As some stayed safe in their homes, others struggled to find hospital beds, ventilators, etc for themselves or their loved ones once someone got infected by the virus.

Europe saw one of the worst situations and hospitals struggled to cater to patients. During this time, almost a third of EU residents used their personal connections and heavily relied on bribed to get healthcare facilities, a report has found.

Also read | AstraZeneca's antibody fails in protecting exposed patients from COVID-19

As per a report on corruption by an NGO, The Global Corruption Barometer, nearly 62 per cent (two-thirds) of the 40,000 survey takers believe their government has a corruption problem and 76 per cent (three-quarters) feel their government is getting worse and has been stagnating.

Almost a third of residents in the European Union (EU) countries have used their personal connections to access health care services during the Covid pandemic and one in five people in Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Hungary have bribed authorities to gain access to these services.

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"The EU is often seen as a bastion of integrity, but these findings show that countries across the region remain vulnerable to the insidious effects of corruption," said Delia Ferreira Rubio, the chair of Transparency International. "During a health crisis, using personal connections to access public services can be as damaging as paying bribes. Lives can be lost when connected people get a Covid-19 vaccine or medical treatment before those with more urgent needs. It’s crucial that governments across the EU redouble their efforts to ensure a fair and equitable recovery from the ongoing pandemic."

Tough this report, the problem of a close relationship between big businesses and governments has been highlighted, which hints at the growing problem of corruption in EU member countries. The report also claimed that there was no country in the EU where citizens thought that corruption in the government was declining.

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