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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

LGBT community in Chechnya faces ‘new wave of persecution’: UN human rights experts

Impressions of China

Not much of a help the new EU Directive on pensions

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Welfare of transported animals: MEPs urge EU states to do a better job

Commission supports normalisation in Greece through activation of post-programme framework

Worldwide UN family celebrates enduring universal values of human rights

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

Scientists in Sweden are studying the climate-cooling effects of spruce forests

The US may be “open” to reviving TTIP, while the EU designs the future of trade with China

This is the life of a refugee: the constant destruction and construction of dreams every day

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

5 things you need to know about your microbiome

We need greater protection for our oceans. We can’t let politics stand in the way

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

As tech disrupts our jobs, it’s not too late to turn pain into gain

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

EU and China seize momentum to enhance trade agreements in response to Trump’s administration

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Bureaucracy in the member states again the obstacle for long due strong European Hedge Funds

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Russia must urgently step up fight against foreign bribery

South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95%

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

Only a few months away from the single European patent space

Why home is the least safe place to be a woman

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

UN rights chief calls for international inquiry into Kashmir violations

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

UN global counter-terrorism strategy review an ‘overarching vision for the future’: Assembly President

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

May threatens the EU with a wild Brexit indifferent to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the City

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Cape Town’s crisis shows us the real cost of water

Not enough resettlement solutions for refugees worldwide, says UN

Towards a seamless internal EU market for industrial goods

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

My ‘’cultural’’ contacts with China

The Government of China and UNIDO partner to develop technical guidelines for standards of small hydropower development

Pakistan’s digital revolution is happening faster than you think

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

Cybersecurity needs a holistic approach. Here are three ways to build protection

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

How big data can help us fight climate change faster

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Food system failures in our age of abundance

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

The strong version of the EU banking union gains momentum

Syria: WHO appeals for funding to sustain critical health care for millions trapped by conflict

‘We need to do more’ to transform the world, deputy UN chief tells African audiences

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