November 30, 2020 11:32
The top medical school in Pyongyang lambasted by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week for "non-socialist" practices apparently diverted and sold coronavirus drugs among other instances of corruption.
A source said officials at Pyongyang Medical University were nabbed diverting COVID drugs from the university hospital's warehouse and selling them at exorbitant prices to patients with symptoms.
"Patients who don't have the money got no medication and their symptoms worsened," the source said. But the source said university officials who are Workers Party members are also being punished for failing to come up with adequate quarantine measures and accurately reporting an increase in COVID-19 patients.
North Korea officially claims it has no COVID-19 cases, but the World Health Organization said infections increased by 805 in just a week.
University staff have also been accused of conducting illegal cosmetic surgery for money. "Double eyelid, nose and lip surgery are popular in Pyongyang due to the popularity of South Korean TV dramas," the source said. "Doctors at the university hospital make lots of money performing the procedures."
The source said it is common knowledge that university officials take bribes and even extract sexual favors from female students in return for admissions and graduation certificates. Some female doctors at the hospital reported the abuses to the party but were ignored until Kim lashed out.
The National Intelligence Service here told lawmakers last week that hospital officials also took bribes for allocating dormitories to students, forced people to donate money and trafficked in hospital positions.
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