Poor-Quality Health Care Kills 5 Million People Every Year


A recent report that was published on Wednesday in The Lancet shows that as much as 5 million people die each year due to poor-quality health care in countries with low and middle income. The research was made by The Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems, which is a project that lasted for two years and whose purpose was to measure and improve the quality of healthcare systems across the world.

Alarming findings

The new report suggests that quality plays a bigger role than quantity when it comes to health. The number that was estimated is much higher than the one that is known for how many people die from not having access to health care, which is 3.6 million. This is a significant difference. Also, this is three times more than diabetes – 1.4 million and five times more than yearly deaths from HIV/AIDS – 1 million in the same countries.

Health care systems in most countries worldwide must improve

The commission that analyzed the health systems in more than 18 countries was made up of 30 experts, ranging from academics to health advocates and policymakers. What was found is that there are 8.6 million deaths annually in these low and middle-income countries (134 of them, which constitute the majority of the whole world) that could have been easily prevented if a good-quality system would have been in place. 5 million people out of the total number were those who had access to care, but it was a poor-quality health care. The difference of 3.6 million people died due to a lack of access to the health system.

These findings are extremely worrying, as such a big number of people could have been saved if only they had access to good health care, as their conditions were treatable.


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