Ineffective health care may occur across all Member States, WHO warns

Ineffective health care may occur across all Member States, WHO warns

A new report conducted by the World Health Organization(WHO) and partners revealed the global dangers of poor quality health care.

Although commitment to provide universal health coverage by 2030 has made among nations, WHO says the outcome “would still be poor” without the delivery of effective care.

WHO said in the statement:

“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 low- and middle- income countries experience the greatest challenge. As mentioned in the report, 10% of hospital patients acquire an infection during the course of their stay in these countries, compared to 7% elsewhere. Inadequate clinical practice was also “common” in public and private clinic in these countries. Demonstrating diagnostic accuracy was only as low as 34%.

According to Delivering quality health services: a global imperative for universal health coverage, a report by WHO, the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), less than 50% of cases have followed clinical guidelines in some poorer nations, leading to “low-quality antenatal and childcare” and “deficient family planning”. The report concluded that it is crucial to allow everyone to have quality health care because it halts suffering and helps to improve economic productivity.

The report pointed out that improper patient treatment brings increased financial burden on families and health systems which results in trillions of dollars each year. The report used an example in 2014 in Liberia that inadequacies there led Ebola to “proliferate rapidly”.

It also found out that infection prevention and control was “largely absent” where it was most needed with numerous “persistent” systemic constraints such as an absence of skilled professionals in communities and a lack of financing mechanisms resulted in replicating virus easily.

An investment plan was developed to help the West African nation’s ability to cope with future health emergencies, including the provision of crucial services and strengthening community confidence in health systems.

Richer countries encountered the same problems as well. The report indicated that breast-screening rates only had 19% and influenza vaccination rates were below 35% in more than 30 nations. 1 in 10 patients is injured during medical treatment and nearly 15% of hospital expenditure can be attributed to mistakes in care or having to treat patient infection.

In spite of the challenges, some notable progress have been made to improve the quality of care such as increasing survival rates for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Finally, the report emphasized that quality health care is not a “luxury that only rich countries can afford”. With the help of technological innovation, several successful strategies to improve the quality of health coverage have been planned in “many” low- and middle-income countries. Despite of the effort made with technology, the report appealed to nations to have a global platform to share this knowledge.


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Image credit: WHO

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