Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally, says WHO |
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Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally, says WHO
eMediNexus,  06 July 2018
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Poor quality health services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels, according to a new joint report “Delivering Quality Health Services – a Global Imperative for Universal Health Coverage” by the OECD, World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. The report also highlights that sickness associated with poor quality health care imposes additional expenditure on families and health systems.

Today, inaccurate diagnosis, medication errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities or practices, or providers who lack adequate training and expertise prevail in all countries. The situation is worst in low and middle-income countries where 10% of hospitalized patients can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, as compared to 7% in high income countries. This is despite hospital acquired infections being easily avoided through better hygiene, improved infection control practices and appropriate use of antimicrobials. At the same time, one in ten patients is harmed during medical treatment in high income countries.

Other key findings in the report paint a picture of quality issues in healthcare around the world:

  1. Health care workers in seven low- and middle-income African countries were only able to make accurate diagnoses one third to three quarters of the time, and clinical guidelines for common conditions were followed less than 45 percent of the time on average.
  2. Research in eight high-mortality countries in the Caribbean and Africa found that effective, quality maternal and child health services are far less prevalent than suggested by just looking at access to services. For example, just 28 percent of antenatal care, 26 percent of family planning services and 21 percent of sick-child care across these countries qualified as ‘effective.’
  3. Around 15 percent of hospital expenditure in high-income countries is due to mistakes in care or patients being infected while in hospitals.

(WHO, July 5, 2018)

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