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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European 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

Sassoli: Migration agreement respects fundamental principles of Parliament’s proposal

Guterres: Security Council’s African alliances ‘needed and appreciated more than ever’

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Is our brave new world about to burst?

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Harvested’ rainwater saves Tanzanian students from stomach ulcers, typhoid

MEPs spell out priorities for the European Central Bank and on banking union

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Towards a European Republic

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

Varna (Bulgaria) awarded European Youth Capital 2017

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

An Eastern Wind

5 lessons from China on how to drive sustainable growth

We have a chance to build the gender-equal workplaces of the future. Here’s how

European Labour Authority ready to start working in October as decision is taken on new seat

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

CDU-SPD agree the terms for EU’s Banking Union

The DNA of the future retail CEO

Could a Digital Silk Road solve the Belt and Road’s sustainability problem?

Ebola in DR Congo: UN chief ‘outraged’ by recent killings of civilians and health workers

How can batteries become more sustainable? This young scientist might have the answer

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

3 of Jack Ma’s best pieces of advice

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

Guterres underlines climate action urgency, as UN weather agency confirms record global warming

Why the answer to a more sustainable future could lie within the platform economy

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

The Chinese retail revolution is heading west

Erdogan’s electoral win on a ‘me or chaos’ dilemma means trouble for everybody

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

What does Tsipras have to offer to the rest of Europe? Is it worth an early advance of €10 billion? Berlin sturdily denies it

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

High unemployment to continue haunting the EU

A young European voice on Grexit: too high a bill and too big a deal!

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

Libyan national conference postponed, nearly 500,000 children at ‘direct risk’ from fighting around Tripoli

From social entrepreneurship to systems entrepreneurship: how to create lasting change

Would you let an AI vote for you?

It’s ‘time for concrete action’ says UN chief, welcoming inter-Korean agreement

To my Chinese friend

Austrian Presidency priorities discussed in committees

Do we have to choose between creating jobs and protecting the climate?

5 ways students can graduate fully qualified for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time

A refugee from Syria cries out: “I’m not just a number!”

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Four ways Europe can become a global innovation leader

Three steps to clean up electric vehicle supply chains

A giant marine heatwave has descended on Alaska

Haiti: ‘Laden with challenges’ but also hope, Mission chief tells Security Council

More Stings?

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