Let’s speak for Patient Safety in India

  • Om Prakash Kansal Independent Public Health Consultant


As if the fire episode in a major hospital in 2011 in Kolkata was not enough, another fire episode was recorded in West Bengal tertiary hospital end August. Recently, a friend undertaking infection control audit was led into the operating theatre with blood stained slippers and only face mask, when the surgery was on. The onset of hepatitis B and hepatitis C epidemics due to reuse of syringes and needles hit the regional headlines in Haryana and Srinagar in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Worldwide, adverse events occur in around 10% of hospital patients. Individual studies have reported adverse events from 4–17% of hospital admissions and 5–21% of these adverse events result in death. In low- and middle-income countries, adverse events may develop from unsafe care in as many as 18.4% of patients, with 30% of those events leading to the patient's death. Medical literature often reports the incidence of health care acquired infections which the patient may not have when s/he walks in the hospital. However evidence also suggests that half of these can be prevented easily just by investing a minor fraction of the budgets while planning the healthcare. In India, almost all states are facing this challenge irrespective how robust the health care delivery system has developed.


1. WHO Regional Strategy for Patient Safety in India 2016-2025
2. Barriers to improving patient safety in India: focus groups with providers in the southern state of Kerala. Indian J Community Med. 2015 Apr-Jun;40(2):116-20. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.153875. Landefeld J1, Sivaraman R2, Arora NK3.
3. http://www.jointcommission.org/speakup.aspx
4. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bengal-2-feared-dead-after-fire-breaks-out-in-murshidabad-hospital/story-FpmyMuta2Xgve6PR5RAIDL.html
How to Cite
KANSAL, Om Prakash. Let’s speak for Patient Safety in India. Indian Journal of Community Health, [S.l.], v. 29, n. 3, p. 213 - 214, july 2017. ISSN 2248-9509. Available at: <http://www.iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/1714>. Date accessed: 23 feb. 2018.