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Patient safety report One in ten patients harmed by medical treatment

A nurse tending to a patient

The report calls for better training of health staff to improve patient safety.

(© Keystone/Gaetan Bally)

Up to 15% of hospital patients in Switzerland suffer negative consequences from inadequate medication or incorrect treatment, according to a report by the Federal Health Office.

“Switzerland has a good healthcare system compared with other countries. But it is costly,” health office director Pascal Strupler told a news conference on Friday. “Considering this, the quality of healthcare in Switzerland needs improving.”

The report found that an estimated 20% of older patients either do not receive the drugs suitable to treat their illnesses or they suffer from infections.

The authors also point out that the lack of relevant information about incorrect treatment hinders progress to improve the situation and to carry out regular checks.

They argue that there is a lack of comprehensive data to make more accurate statements about patient welfare in the Swiss healthcare systemexternal link.

The health office added that under a legal amendment approved by parliament, the government could intervene. As of 2021 health insurers, hospitals and doctors have to agree to binding quality standards.

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