Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

UNICEF
A health volunteer fills a syringe with a dose of tetanus vaccine in the village of Buaw in Koch county, South Sudan, 7 May 2017.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Ineffective health care is a global phenomenon which increases the burden of illness and wastes scarce resources, UN experts said on Thursday.

In a new report on the subject, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners cited problems with delivering quality health care across all Member States.

The finding is important because, although nations have committed to providing universal health coverage by 2030, the outcome “would still be poor” without the delivery of effective care, WHO says.

“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 agency said in a statement.

The challenge is greatest in low- and middle-income countries, where 10 per cent of hospital patients acquire an infection during the course of their stay, compared to 7 per cent elsewhere.

In some poorer nations, moreover, clinical guidelines are followed in less than 50 per cent of cases, resulting in “low-quality antenatal and childcare”, as well as “deficient” family planning, according to the report by WHO, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Inadequate clinical practice was also “common” in private and public clinics in several low- and middle-income countries, the study found, with some demonstrating diagnostic accuracy as low as 34 per cent.

Ensuring quality health care for everyone is essential, it says, primarily because it prevents suffering, but also since it helps to boost economic productivity.

Furthermore, failing to treat sick people results in increased financial pressure on families and health systems which amounts to trillions of dollars each year, the report notes.

Highlighting the dangers of ineffective health coverage when faced with a public health emergency, the report notes that in Liberia, inadequacies there allowed the 2014 Ebola epidemic “to proliferate rapidly”.

It found that the virus exposed “largely absent” infection prevention and control where it was most needed, along with several “persistent” systemic constraints.

These included a lack of skilled professionals in communities, as well as an absence of financing mechanisms, distribution networks and information procedures.

Following the outbreak, an investment plan was put in place to help the West African nation’s ability to tackle future health emergencies, involving the provision of essential services and improving community confidence in health systems.

Underscoring the fact that the problem crosses all economic boundaries, the report found that richer countries had problems too, with breast-screening rates as low as 19 per cent and influenza vaccination rates below 30 per cent, in 35 nations.

Findings from high-income countries also indicated that 1 in 10 patients is harmed during medical treatment, and that around 15 per cent of hospital expenditure can be put down to mistakes in care or having to treat patient infection.

Despite the challenges, the report noted some progress in improving the quality of care, for example in survival rates for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In an appeal to Governments to promote stronger national health-care quality policies, the three co-authors of the report emphasized their rejection of the perception that quality health care is a “luxury that only rich countries can afford”.

Finally, noting that technological innovation already “plays a key role” in offering ways to expand high-quality health-care services rapidly and affordably, the report also finds that “many” low- and middle-income countries have developed successful strategies to improve the quality of health coverage, but all that is missing is a global platform to share this knowledge.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

UN standing with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique as Southern Africa death toll from deadly cyclone mounts

The Parliament sets the way for the European Banking Union

London wants to treat violent crime like a disease

How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

10 predictions for the global economy in 2019

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025

Entrepreneurial leadership: what does it take to become a leader?

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

Gender equality, justice in law and practice: Essential for sustainable development

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

What will the US look like under Trump? Was his election campaign a big scam?

Globalization 4.0 means harnessing the power of the group

Stop cooperation with and funding to the Libyan coastguard, MEPs ask

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Here’s how the WTO can help address plastic pollution

Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

COVID-19: Commission supports blood services to increase COVID-19 convalescent plasma collection

The health of the human being in coexistence with a transformative biosphere

MEPs cap prices of calls within EU and approve emergency alert system

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

EU Commission and ECB rebuff Germany on the Banking Union

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo conflict zone ‘remains dangerous and unpredictable’ – UN chiefs

Here’s why infrastructure will make or break our response to climate change

Political solutions ‘prerequisite to sustainable peace’, Lacroix tells Security Council

What can smallpox teach us about how we’ve managed COVID-19?

Closure of borders: Civil Liberties Chair demands proportionality and coordination within the EU

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

The staggering loss of the Arctic Ocean’s oldest sea ice shown in time-lapse

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

A 3-step path to securing critical infrastructure

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

These are the world’s best universities in 2021

Confirmed ‘Blue Line’ tunnels ‘do not appear’ to surface in Israel – UN peacekeeping chief

2019 ‘a critical year’ for Somali politics and development says Security Council

These innovations could keep us cool without warming the planet

The global economy isn’t working for women. Here’s what world leaders must do

Three things Nigeria must do to end extreme poverty

10 ways regulators need to change in 2020

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world

Further reforms in Japan needed to meet the challenges of population ageing and high public debt

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Greece at the mercy of ECB while sailing through uncharted waters

Von der Leyen in Ireland: Our mutual solidarity is here to stay

More women in Latin America are working, but gender gap persists, new UN figures show

Escalation in Syria fighting cause for ‘great concern’ says UN chief, dozens more civilians dead or injured

Brexit: EP Group leaders support a flexible extension until 31/1/20

Step up action to protect the planet during wartime: UN environment chief

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s