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Poor quality healthcare is a global concern – report

Friday July 6th, 2018

Poor quality health services are preventing improvements in health in countries at all income levels, a new joint report by the OECD, World Health Organisation and the World Bank has revealed.

Delivering quality health services – A global imperative for universal health coverage says that inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities or practices, or providers who lack adequate training and expertise can be found in all countries.

It is worse in low and middle-income countries, where 10% of hospitalised patients can acquire an infection during a hospital stay compared to 7% in high income countries. However, one in ten patients in high income countries is harmed during medical treatment, says the report.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “At WHO we are committed to ensuring that people everywhere can obtain health services when and where they need them.

“We are equally committed to ensuring that those services are good quality. Quite honestly, there can be no universal health coverage without quality care.”

OECD secretary-general Ángel Gurría said there must be a stronger focus on investing in and improving quality to create trust in health services and give everyone access to high-quality, people-centred health services.

The report revealed that about 15% of hospital expenditure in high-income countries is due to mistakes in care or patients being infected while in hospitals.

It also found that healthcare workers in seven low- and middle-income African countries made accurate diagnoses between one third to three quarters of the time, while clinical guidelines for common conditions were followed less than 45% of the time on average.

In eight high-mortality countries in the Caribbean and Africa, 28% of antenatal care, 26% of family planning services and 21% of sick-child care were deemed “effective”.

The full report is available at http://www.who.int/servicedeliverysafety/quality-report/en/

Tags: General Health | World Health

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