Widespread evidence of poor quality health care in all countries


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank has claimed low quality healthcare services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels. 

The report describes the importance of quality in the delivery of healthcare services but says data show the quality of care in most countries, and in particular in low- and middle-income countries, can be suboptimal.

It found one in 10 patients is adversely affected during treatment in high-income countries. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines in eight low- and middle-income countries was below 50 per cent in several instances. Ten per cent of hospitalised patients in low- and middle-income can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, as compared to seven per cent in high-income countries. 

The three organisations outline the steps health services, health workers, governments, citizens and patients need to take to improve healthcare quality. It says healthcare workers should embrace a philosophy of teamwork and see patients as partners. They should also commit themselves to providing and using data to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of health care, it says.