Corruption: An impediment to delivering pathology and laboratory services in resource-limited settings

Emily H. Glynn, Timothy Amukele, Taryn Vian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Corruption is a widely acknowledged problem in the health sector of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Yet, little is known about the types of corruption that affect the delivery of pathology and laboratory medicine (PALM) services. This review is a first step at examining corruption risks in PALM. Methods: We performed a critical review of medical literature focused on health sector corruption in LMICs. To provide context, we categorized cases of laboratory-related fraud and abuse in the United States. Results: Forms of corruption in LMICs that may affect the provision of PALM services include informal payments, absenteeism, theft and diversion, kickbacks, self-referral, and fraudulent billing. Conclusions: Corruption represents a functional reality in many LMICs and hinders the delivery of services and distribution of resources to which individuals and entities are legally entitled. Further study is needed to estimate the extent of corruption in PALM and develop appropriate anticorruption strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-968
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Capacity building
  • Clinical laboratory services
  • Corruption
  • Global health
  • Pathology services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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