by Gopalan on  May 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM Hospital News
Medical Blunders Abound in Public Hospitals in Australian State
Medical blunders abound in public hospitals in the state of Victoria in Australia. One in ten patients suffer in the process - including having the wrong body part operated on and surgical instruments left inside them.

In a report tabled in State Parliament Wednesday, the Auditor-Generalslammed the government for not properly monitoring medical mistakes, which cost taxpayers more than $500 million.

Victoria is the only state in Australia that doesn't have a comprehensive monitoring system, and the report said it was unable to provide complete figures, reports Herald Sun.

The Auditor-General's report Patient Safety in Public Hospitals estimated 135,000 patients had been exposed to medical mistakes, but concluded there could be more.

Of these cases, 97 were labelled "sentinel events", which include "procedures involving the wrong patient or body part, retained instruments after surgery and death from a medication error".

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said work had started on an appropriate monitoring system to be in place by 2010, reports Nick Higginbottom

But Opposition health spokeswoman Helen Shardey said 2010 was too late for patients.

"Despite a previous audit of patient safety in public hospitals in 2005 and a departmental review of quality and safety last year, there has been a distinct failure by the Government to implement all the recommendations," she said.

Premier John Brumby yesterday defended saying the state had seen improvement in the key indicators of ulcers, superbug infections and deaths.

"That's not to say there aren't issues. We welcome the Auditor-General's report and we will be implementing his recommendations," he said.

Source: Medindia

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