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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

" When Patients are sick, they should not be further harmed by unsafe care"

Substandard hospital care caused nearly 17 million cases of harm in high-income countries, and nearly 26 million cases of harm in low- and middle-income countries.

In high-income countries, the most common type of substandard care involved harm from medicines, which occurred in 5 per cent of hospital stays. In low - and middle-income countries, blood clots were the most common issue, occurring in 3 per cent of hospital stays, the investigators found.
The review authors focused on seven key facets of poor care: harm from prescribed drugs; catheter-associated urinary tract infections; catheter-associated bloodstream infections; hospital-acquired pneumonia; blood clots; falls; and bedsores.

Substandard hospital care resulted in 22.6 million years of life lost to death or disability. Low- and middle-income countries had twice as many years lost to death or disability as high-income countries – 15.5 million versus 7.2 million – according to the study.

Premature death accounted for the largest proportion of years of life lost to death or disability for all seven facets of poor hospital care – more than 80 per cent in low- and middle-income countries and more than 78 per cent in high-income countries, according to a journal news release.

All patients should be able to rely on safe and high-quality care when they're in a hospital, concluded researchers Dr Ashish Jha, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.

"When patients are sick, they should not be further harmed by unsafe care," they wrote, adding: "This should be a major policy emphasis for all nations."

Speaking exclusively with our reporter on quackery in Nigeria, President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele said: "We are working through internal and external strategies. We have anti-quackery committees at state and national levels that regularly visit health facilities within their jurisdiction to ascertain the status of those practicing as medical/dental practitioners. Impostors found during such visits are usually handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution. For doctors whose practices are found to be in violation of the code of medical ethics they are usually subjected to the disciplinary organs of the association.

"The penalties for such doctors could range from suspension by the NMA or referral to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) where, if found guilty, they may face de-registration as a medical or dental practitioner. Doctors are usually encouraged by the NMA to display their updated practice licenses within their practices. There are on-going efforts to develop an online data base of medical/dental practitioners in Nigeria. Once this is completed, Nigerians should be able to ascertain the registration status and qualification of their doctors."

Additionally, Enabulele said, NMA carries out regular public enlightenment and 'Know your doctor' campaigns aimed at empowering Nigerians with information on how and when to access health facilities, and how to know if those attending to them are licensed doctors or impostors.

"The NMA is also working hard to ensure that penalties for untrained persons or impostors are made stiffer," he said.

Source: DailyTimes

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