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CORRUPT PRACTICES IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SECTOR: A FOCUS ON METROPOLITAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF KANO STATE, NIGERIA
Corruption is pervasive in Nigeria at all levels. Thus, despite recent gains in healthcare provision, the health sector faces numerous corruption related challenges. This study aims at examining areas of corruption in the health sector with specific focus on its types and nature. A sample size of 480 respondents aged 18 years and above was drawn from the eight Metropolitan Local Government Areas of Kano State, using the multistage sampling technique. The results revealed evidence of corrupt practices including those related to unnecessary-absenteeism, diversion of patients from the public health facilities to the private sector, diverting money meant for the purchase of equipment, fuel and diesel, bribery, stealing of medications, fraud, misappropriation of medications and unjustifiable reimbursement claims. In order to resolve the problem of corrupt practices in the healthcare sector, the study recommended the need for enforcement of appropriate code of ethics guiding the conduct of the health professionals, adoption of anti-corruption strategies, and strengthening the government monitoring system to check corruption in public health sector in order to ensure equitable access to healthcare services among the underprivileged people in the society.
Keywords: Bribery, corruption, public health sector, fraud, embezzlement, and undue reimbursement claim