Francesca Rispoli Marco Antonelli

Corruption in healthcare system during the pandemic. Emerging trends from the italian case

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The article aims to analyze the impact of Covid-19 pandemic emergency on corruption in the healthcare system from March 2020 to nowadays, in particular in the Italian public procurement. The article is a first attempt to explain how the mechanism of corruption has changed because of Covid-19, the roles of each actor involved, and the resources exchanged. A recent research states that «corruption is embedded in health systems», having different forms, both as petty corruption and systemic corruption. Few studies argument that corruption is an “ignored pandemicµ in the sector, especially in Italy, where 2,4% of the families received request for a gift or a favour in exchange of healthcare services, a data which is supported by studies that demonstrate how political corruption characterize the system. The research follows a qualitative approach. It provides a content analysis of the press review of corruption events in online newspapers, catalogued within the CO.SA.PA (COrruzione in SAnità durante la PAndemia) dataset and an in-depth analysis of a case study related to a judicial scandal. The case study analysed allows to highlight some trends that the pandemic has generated, which deal with the functioning of public administration. The results show that the pandemic crisis increased opportunities for illegal network to infiltrate healthcare system, especially where corruption is systemic.


  • Corruption
  • Healthcare System
  • Covid-19
  • Pandemic


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