News
According to a Eurobarometer survey published in February, European citizens generally do not feel protected from medical errors and European health care is not perceived to be as safe as it should be. The survey looks at the general perception of medical errors across EU Member States as well as patients’ experiences of medical errors and their practical implications (i.e. trust in medical professionals, perceived likelihood to suffer a medical error and preventability). The survey results are available online not only in English, but also in French and German. This interest and initiative in health care may be traced back to the World Health Assembly Resolution (2002) urging WHO and Member States to pay the closest possible attention to the problem of patient safety, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s launch of the World Alliance for Patient Safety in 2004 and the EU Luxembourg Presidency adopted the Luxembourg Declaration on Patient Safety, in April 2005. This Eurobarometer survey was carried out as part of a series of EU actions aimed at improving patient safety and the quality of health care and the Commission says it is planning future steps to improve the safety and quality in health care by involving all players including politicians, public administrators and health care professionals. The range of measures envisaged includes the establishment of an EU stakeholder forum to discuss activities on patient safety, and an open consultation on hospital-acquired infections.

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