The Best Thank You to the Doctor Is Your Smile
The aim of this project was to raise awareness amongst the patients that bribery is not a key to a good treatment in the hospitals, and the best gratitude to a doctor is a simple “thank you”.
Transparency International Lithuania has been searching for non-conventional methods to promote a conversation about corruption in the healthcare sector. Since 2011 it supported the young doctors’ anti-corruption campaign ‘The Best Thank You to the Doctor Is Your Smile’, aimed at drawing attention to the problem of small bribery in the healthcare sector.
- A public reading of the Hippocratic Oath took place by medical students and professionals as a reminder of the values and ethical standards that doctors uphold. Recordings of this reading were published on TI Lithuania’s website.Awareness raising
- During the campaign doctors were invited to put stickers on their offices’ doors saying that “The Best Thank You to A Doctor Is Your Smile”. In this way they were encouraged to publicly show that no extra payments were needed, nor would be accepted from patients. This served as a reminder to patients and allowed doctors to demonstrate their support for the campaign.Awareness raising
- Following TI Lithuania’s campaign, the Ministry of Health announced a description of the procedures for healthcare institutions needed to obtain the name of a transparent institution.
- The number of participating healthcare institutions increased year by year during the implementation period of initiative (10 in 2011, 18 in 2013, 38 in 2014, 55 in 2015, 71 in 2016). It demonstrates how institutions became more open to start the dialogue between patients and doctors in order to deal with high bribery rates in healthcare sector.
- One key lesson from this initiative is that corruption in the healthcare sector is a very sensitive issue. Whilst the public demonstration of the stickers raised awareness of the issue, some doctors felt uncomfortable with their profession being associated with informal payments and therefore corruption. Thus, for the future, it is important to actively engage relevant stakeholders prior to implementation of a campaign to obtain their feedback on the campaign and address the most significant issues in advance.
- Through the success of engagement with other stakeholders, such as medical institutions and doctor organizations, TI Lithuania learned the importance and benefits of working with other groups outside of TI.
- TI Lithuania also learned that sometimes using a simple message such as “The Best Thank You to A Doctor Is Your Smile” can make a powerful impact.