According to media reports, doctors and other medical professionals looking to work in Romanian hospitals must pay a bribe in order to gain employment. The price of the bribe paid is determined on an unofficial sliding scale depending on the location of the hospital.
One pediatrician reported that to receive employment at a hospital in a town with 9,000 residents would cost $20,000 (€15,000). The same position in a city with a population of 105,000 would cost $27,000 (€20,000), and in a city with 250,000 residents the bribe would be $40,000 (€30,000).
The bribe money is split between the hospital administrators and senior doctors.
A survey of 1,000 people in Romania found that over 60 percent of respondents offered bribes to medical professionals. Many patients freely pay bribes to their doctors hoping to secure the best possible treatment. Some patients have reportedly become distressed when a doctor refuses the bribe, thinking that their condition must be incurable.
A resident doctor working at a public hospital earns about $271 (€200) a month. A specialist at the hospital earns about $680 (€500) a month.
Source: Elena Stancu, “Mass exodus: Why corruption in Romania’s healthcare system is forcing its doctors to work abroad,” Independent, January 2, 2014.