Our partner, Center for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro, prepared series of articles about problems and alleged corruption cases in healthcare system of Montenegro within the project “Healthcare System and Patients’ Rights in Montenegro – Winning Citizens’ Confidence”.
Articles may be read in daily newspaper and portal “Vijesti”, and portal of Centre for Investigative Journalism www.cin-cg.me and on website of Centre for Monitoring and Research.
In the following text, you can find an abstract and links via which you can read investigative articles that have been published so far.
First text “They draw money from the budget for unnecessary prescription of medicines” was published on august 12th. The article was made based on analyzed documents of the Health Insurance Fund, whose control showed that Montenegrin Community Health Centers unduly invoice tens of thousands of euros each year and that they prescribe antibiotics when there is no need for that. In this article, it was published what Community Health Centers unduly invoice antibiotics, without the specialist’s report and mandatory anti-biogram. For the first time, the information that the professional service of the Fund notified public healthcare institutions that there have been irregularities in a manner of prescription of antibiotics that heal the respiratory system. Publishing of the article became significant for the public, if we consider the fact that based on 2013 research, Montenegro was on second place regarding the consumption of antibiotics, but also the fact that super-bacteria are widespread and resistant to that kind of antibiotics.
Second article “They changed diagnosis in pharmacies” was published on September 15th. Essence of the article is that controllers of the Health Insurance Fund found many irregularities in “Montefarm”, due to which the decrease of the receipt for May and June of 3,686 € was ordered. Among the irregularities there is a finding that pharmacists changed diagnosis in pharmacies, and that prescribed quantity of medicines was different than the quantity in the information system of the Fund. Despite regulations, handwritten prescriptions were issued which missed the date of issuing of the medicine, facsimile and signature of the employee.
Third article „Business in Malta stopped due to corruption suspition“ was published on October 11th. After Vitalis Global Healthcare in Podgorica presented a presentation, according to which it would manage particular hospitals in Montenegro during the next 30 years, we researched alleged successful businesses of that company in Malta. According to the information from their media, the project of managing the hospital never started, although it was agreed with the Ministry of Health before the public invitation. Except the fact that we are the first in Montenegro who published information about VGH businesses in Malta, we consulted experts of medical and financial profession, who explained what influence would the transformation of healthcare system in a way the Maltese company imagined it have on the public health.
Forth article „Governments’ business: Not even one cent was given of promissed 8.8 million euros“ was published on November 2nd. One and a half year after the government gave a permission for recapitalization of „Hemomont“ and approved 1.5 million euros of the budget to be allocated for the project nose drops, we checked where is the project now. It was determined that the project was never implemented, despite the announcements of the Government the selling of that product would increase the budget for 8.8 million euros. We published that the realization of the project is late due to administrative problems and probles with the equipment supplier from Italy.
Fifth article “Citizens and European Committee without information. Government is silent on the waiting lists” was published on January 23rd 2017. The government of Montenegro didn’t precisely respond on how long patients wait to receive the healthcare services in Montenegro in their report for the European Committee for Social Rights. The committee asked the government to provide information about the rules regarding the management of waiting lists, as well as statistics on average waiting in healthcare. The report only explained the procedures and the legislative regulation that regulates that field was stated. The article explains that Clinical Centre is the only healthcare institution that transparently publishes and updates waiting lists. Ministry of health announced in the last published report on work for 2015 that there were no waiting lists for either healthcare procedure in general hospitals. However, that same year in November, management of several hospitals confirmed that patients need to wait longer than one month for medical procedures. So, the hospital in Cetinje announced that waiting list for determining hearing device is longer than a month. Hospital in Kotor said that in that moment patients had to wait five to six months to get cardio examination, and two to three months for ultrasound of blood vessels, abdomen, stomach, thyroid and breast.
Sixth article „Negligible number of penalties for corruption in healthcare“ was published on March 12th 2017. Despite the researches that corruption in Montenegro is the most widespread in healthcare, only two doctors were sentenced so far and served their sentence in prison.
Ortoped Nenad Vukcevic was sentenced to imprisonment for taking bribes in the amount of 500 euros from the family of the late Emil Šahmanović in 2009. His colleague, radiologist Andrija Mikulic was also sentenced that he received or asked for bribes for examinations – from 50 to 200 euros on several occasions.
The Center for Investigative Journalism in Montenegro (CIN-CG) received information that two doctors served their prison sentences from the Secretariat of the Judicial Council.
The seventh article “Stanisic bought the company with son of owner of Glossary: A long-time leader of the” Montefarm “now operates with the state” was published on 25th March 2017.
Former director of “Montefarm” Budimir Stanisic bought half of shares in the company “Medica” this year, with whom he had previously, on behalf of the state, signed contracts for the purchase of medicines.
Stanisic, in an interview with the Center for Investigative Journalism in Montenegro (CIN-CG), said that he respected the Law on the prevention of corruption.