Kleptoscope 11: Ending Healthcare Corruption

Talk Wednesday 23 January, 2019 7:00 pm


In 2014, Ukraine was in the depths of a health crisis, with infectious diseases and disastrous levels of cardiovascular conditions contributing to low life expectancy and general misery. Officials and their allies in the pharmaceutical industry were embezzling much of the state medical budget, leaving scant resources for doctors’ salaries, medicines or vital equipment.

What has followed has been one of the most successful hands-on anti-corruption interventions in history. Three international bodies took over procurement, and succeeded in cutting prices by 40 percent. Hosted as usual by investigative journalist Oliver Bullough, the first kleptoscope of 2019 looks at how this happened, what obstacles it faced, and whether it could be a blueprint for cleaning up corrupt administrations in other countries.


Henry Marsh is a brain surgeon, and an award-winning author, whose 2014 memoir Do No Harm was a bestseller. His work in Ukraine was the subject of a BBC documentary The English Surgeon in 2007.

Tania Korotchenko is in charge of Crown Agents’ procurement work in Ukraine, and has worked with the health ministry to significantly reduce the prices it pays for key medications.

Fergus Drake is Chief Executive at Crown Agents, a not-for-profit international development company. He has over two decades of experience delivering humanitarian and development programmes around the world. Previously, Fergus was Executive Director of Global Programmes at Save the Children, has experience at HM Treasury in the UK and embedded in the Government of Rwanda with Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative.

  Watch the video stream of Kleptoscope 11