Project


The Best Thank You to the Doctor Is Your Smile

Chapter: Lithuania | Project range: Local | Year: 2016

Chapter details

About the chapter:
Transparency International Lithuania, established on 6th June of 2000, is a division of the international organisation Transparency International. TI Lithuania was founded by the Open Society Fund Lithuania. TI Lithuania is a non-political organisation that co-operates and coordinates its activities with governmental and non-governmental institutions in both Lithuania and abroad.

CPI Score: 59

CPI Rank: 38


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Summary

Governance & leadership

Services

Workforce

Partners

National Partners:
Healthcare Clinics in Lithuania Lithuanian Medical Students' Association The Cancer Patients Support Association

Theory of Change

Policy & Insititutional Change
Improved enforcement of policies Better Institutional Processes
Behaviour Change
Anti-Corruption Activism
Change Type:

Awareness

Outreach

Aim

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”.

Landscape

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.

Activities

  1. 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
  2. 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

Achievements

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Lessons Learnt

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.