The state-run Korea Health Industry Development Institute has squandered the government money for unreasonable researches for years, a lawmaker said on Monday.
According to Rep. Kim Seung-hee of the Liberty Korea Party, the institute spent 1.77 billion won ($1.56 million) on 884 types of research deemed unfair or unreasonable, from 2012 to 2016.
The number of such researches went up every year from 92 in 2012 to 157 in 2014 to 327 in 2016, according to Kim. The amount spent on such researches also continued to rise from 105 million won in 2012 to 380 million won in 2014 to 684 million won in 2016.
A total of 34 pieces of research, commissioned by the institute from 2013 to June 2017, have been suspended due to various reasons. Eighteen researches had to stop due to the researcher’s personal problems, health problems and giving up of a participating company. Another 15 included a poor performance in an interim assessment and eligibility issue of the researcher.
One professor at a hospital was reportedly under police investigation after he registered a person as a researcher for the institute-commissioned study, even though the person did not participate in the study.
“Even though the government’s spending is quickly rising for medical and public health researches, their management is very poor,” Kim said. “We need an overhaul of the whole system on research management and supervision, such as allowing an accounting firm to manage such research expenses, not to waste taxpayers’ money.”
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