Organised Crime in Healthcare Systems

18th June 2020
Author: Sue Enfield

Crime and malpractice within healthcare systems take many forms, from front line corruption such as demanding cash payment for appointments or consultations, through to large scale misuse or misappropriation of funds in global health initiatives. Organised crime engages in activities that are directly and specifically detrimental to public health. Corruption is a serious threat to global health outcomes, leading to financial waste and adverse health consequences. Corruption and criminal exploitation are global public-health challenges. Overall, the literature emphasised corruption and malpractice in healthcare systems and did not always make clear whether criminal activity is strictly organised by groups or by individuals seizing opportunities as these present. The line between omnipresent corruption and possibly more damaging organised crime seems indistinct. Rather few studies were identified that report on the impact from organised crime groups in past pandemics or other humanitarian emergency responses.

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Suggested Citation

Enfield S. (2020). Organised Crime in Healthcare. K4D Helpdesk Report 822. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


18th June 2020


Continent: Global