A joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank states that low-quality health services are holding back progress towards universal health coverage in countries of all income levels. They called on States to develop mandatory regulatory systems that address the design, development, sale and use of drugs, in order to guarantee a better quality in the health system.
The report argues that, in recent years, only 30 to 40% of patients in countries with developing or transition economies were treated with medications according to clinical guidelines. The document estimates that the economic and social costs of poor quality care amount to billions of dollars per year. Among the main issues to be resolved, the report lists imprecise diagnoses, medication errors, inappropriate treatments, unsafe medical facilities or practices, and health care providers that lack sufficient training and experience.
In the report, the international organizations recommend training medical teams in the area of diagnosis, in order to guarantee the patient the necessary medication for the disease diagnosed in adequate quantities.
The OECD`s Secretary General, Ángel Gurría, expressed that “without quality services, universal coverage will remain an empty promise”. In this regard, the report urges governments to develop and implement a national policy capable of materializing government responsibility in health matters. It also recommends financing research and guaranteeing the training of those who provide health services.