Unhealthy Practices at Public Hospitals

At an inquiry into the problems facing cash-strapped public hospitals in New South Wales, Australia, neurologist Dr Suzanne Hodgkinson explained that doctors sought financial support of drug companies. "I had insufficient clerical support and so as to try and remedy that I approached a company to help me with that on a temporary, part-time basis. ... Quite a few senior doctors do try to raise money to help with the provision of services," she said. Hodgkinson raised A$20,000 for the position, but would not name the drug company funder. The president of the New South Wales branch of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Keegan, said the practice was common, especially for administrative roles. "I would assume it is happening in every major hospital, especially the teaching hospitals," he said. Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner said that "if it’s happening in our hospitals, there are ethical questions that need to be answered."