Richard Balmforth: ‘It even costs money to die’ - corruption at every turn in Ukraine
As a Ukrainian, Viktoria quickly picked up on what the doctor was suggesting at the Kiev hospital where the 22-year-old had gone for emergency treatment.
It was appendicitis and she needed surgery, he said. Then he added: "You know, us doctors and the hospital are not particularly well off. I am sure you want the operation to go smoothly."
Viktoria got his drift: though medical care in state-run hospitals is theoretically free for Ukrainians, it would need a financial back-hander to ensure she got the treatment she required.