first_imgA EUROPE-WIDE STUDY has found that the majority of people in Ireland think hospitals are dangerous places.More than half of Irish people (54%) said that they believed it was likely that patients could be harmed by hospital care in Ireland – slightly higher than the EU average.A total of 40% of people said it was not likely that patients could be harmed in hospital – an increase of three percentage points on the last time the study was carried out in 2009.People who think it is likely that patients could be harmed were most likely to be aged over 55 and to be on low incomes.The massive study found that Irish people were among the most likely in Europe to believe that they are entitled to an apology from a doctor if harm is caused to them while in hospital, with 46% of people agreeing with the statement. In comparison, the vast majority of people in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands said they were entitled to a formal acknowledgement that harm had been caused instead.Ireland also differed significantly from other countries when people were asked what the most important factor was for high quality healthcare. Cleanliness was the single biggest factor for Irish respondents, with 37% of people singling it out, putting Ireland behind only the UK and Malta in choosing it.However, while more than one third of people in four countries said respect for a patient’s dignity was hugely important, just 15 per cent of people in Ireland thought so – the lowest percentage across all the EU countries.Ireland also had one of the highest rates of written consent in the EU, with 82%of respondents always asked to give their consent for surgery, compared to just 16% in Sweden, for example.Ireland had the second-highest rate of people who said they or their family member were given information on healthcare-related infections.The special European Commission report into patient safety and quality of care, which was published yesterday, spoke to 27,919 people across the EU about their experiences in hospitals.It has been estimated that between 8 and 12 per cent of patients admitted to hospital in the EU have some kind of bad experience while they are being treated, ranging from medical errors to picking up an infection.Read: Ombudsman to investigate how hospitals handle complaints >last_img

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