CAMPECHE, MEXICO.- Medical regulatory inspectors in Mexico have earned such a reputation for corruption that starting Sunday, October 23rd, they will be required to wear body cameras to guard against improper conduct.
The federal health regulation agency rolled out the first body cameras in the Gulf coast state of Campeche on Sunday.
The agency — known as the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Health Risks — has been so riddled with corruption in the past that employees would physically hide applications for the approval of new drugs unless pharmaceutical firms paid bribes to get their medicines approved.
At one point earlier this year, corruption — allegedly including employees demanding bribes from healthcare outlets in exchange for not closing them down — became so bad that marines entered the agency’s Mexico City offices to root out offenders.
The agency said the bodycams would also protect the inspectors against any possible acts of intimidation.
The agency said in a statement the bodycams — which would tape inspectors as they interact with health care professionals and companies — “have the main aim of promoting integrity in federal public servants, and promote the prevention of discretionary acts.”
Bertha Alcalde Luján, a top official of the commission, said the bodycams were also meant to protect agency personnel “who are often subject to intimidation during their duties, and in some cases, unjustly accused.”