WHO: Five Patients Die Every Minute From Unsafe Care

World cities to light monuments in orange to show commitment for patient safety.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a campaign to improve patient safety worldwide, as at least five patients die every minute globally because of unsafe care.

On September 17 in conjunction with the first ever World Patient Safety Day, cities around the world will light up monuments in orange colour in support of safety of patients.

The monuments include the Jet d’Eau in Geneva, the Pyramids in Cairo, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, The Royal Opera House in Muscat and the Zakim bridge in Boston among others.

WHO said in a statement that unsafe health care worldwide has caused millions of patients being harmed every year, resulting in 2.6 million deaths annually in low-and middle-income countries alone.

“No one should be harmed while receiving health care. And yet globally, at least five patients die every minute because of unsafe care,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We need a patient safety culture that promotes partnership with patients, encourages reporting and learning from errors, and creates a blame-free environment where health workers are empowered and trained to reduce errors.”

WHO suggested that investment in improving patient safety can lead to significant financial savings, as the cost of prevention is proven to be less than the cost of treatment due to harm.

In the United States, focused safety improvements contributed to savings worth approximately US$28 billion in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015.

WHO also said that greater patient involvement can help ensure safer care, as engaging patients can reduce the burden of harm by up to 15 per cent, saving billions of dollars each year.

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