Poor quality health services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels, according to a new joint report by the OECD, World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. 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.
• 10% of hospitalized patients can expect to acquire an infection during their stay in low and middle-income countries -7% in high-income countries, and one in ten patients is harmed during medical treatment in high-income countries
• 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
• A recent Johns Hopkins study indicates that more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die every year from medical errors, making it the third-leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer. Other reports claim the numbers to be as high as 440,000
• The broader economic and social costs of poor quality care, including long-term disability, impairment and lost productivity, are estimated to amount to trillions of dollars each year