Health Economics, Policy and Law


Informal payments for health care services in Russia: old issue in new realities

Vladimir S. Gordeeva1 c1, Milena Pavlovaa1 and Wim Groota1

a1 Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University Medical Center, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands


Informal payments can be found across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Despite its hidden nature, they pose an important policy issue. Reported as being widespread, the true scale and scope of informal payment are unknown, and estimations differ among studies. We look at the Russian health care sector where the existence of informal payments has persisted for decades. We present the scale and scope of informal payments, as well as patterns of informal payments and their determinants. We discuss the reasons for discrepancies in estimations and implications for the ongoing reforms.

(Received November 15 2012)

(Revised February 07 2013)

(Accepted April 01 2013)

(Online publication May 21 2013)