How does the UK’s medical negligence record compare with other countries?

December 24, 2011 · Posted in Health 

The NHS is a very big organisation with hundreds of locations across the UK and almost one and a half million employees working in them. With so many hospitals and staff the NHS is able to treat thousands of patients every day. With treating so many people each day though there is always the risk that someone will do something wrong which will result in injury or even death. These occurrences are somewhat expected but recently they have reached an all-time high in the UK.

A number of recent reports have shown that the UK’s medical negligence cases are extremely high with around 8000 deaths as a result in the last 13 years. This number is only those cases which resulted in death and this makes up a very small percentage of the total number of negligence cases.

Medical negligence cases in the UK have been on a constant increase since 1997 when the 223 instances resulting in death were recorded. Comparing that figure to 2010 when 903 people died there has been an increase of 300 per cent. Although the NHS has been widely criticised it isn’t only the UK which has a problem. America has terribly high medical negligence numbers too.

Medical negligence in America was investigated in 2000 and it was revealed that each year around 1,000,000 people were injured or became ill because of medical negligence. Further to this a staggering 44,000 to 98,000 deaths every year occurred because of the problem. Since the study took place these figures have only got worse too.

This problem is also large in Australia as they also have a high number of medical negligence cases each year. On average Australia has each year around 18,000 deaths, 50,000 permanently injured and a further 80,000 who end up hospitalised as a result of being given incorrect medication. Although figures for medical negligence are high in the UK, it isn’t just us who perhaps need to make some major changes in health care.

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