7/27/11

Canadian government recognizes high rate of hospital acquired infections

As noted a few days ago, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report has identified Canada as having a high rate of hospital acquired infections.  Among reporting countries, the Canadian rate of 11.6% was second only to New Zealand's rate of 12%.  (New Zealand, like Canada, has very few hospital beds).


Now, thanks to a Postmedia report, we know that the Public Health Canada (the main federal government agency responsible for public health) doesn't dispute the figures.  



At 11.6 per cent, Canada's rate contrasts poorly with the U.S. rate of 4.5 per cent and Europe's rate of 7.1 per cent, according to data in WHO's Report on the Burden of Endemic Health Care-Associated Infection Worldwide 2011.
Responding to a Postmedia News inquiry, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) did not dispute WHO's finding - and indeed WHO typically bases its reports on data provided by the respective countries....
``The data was taken from surveys and the objective was to determine the prevalence of health care associated infections in patients of all ages admitted to Canadian acute care hospitals participating in Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program (CNISP),'' a PHAC spokesperson said in a statement.
The Feds note the primary role of the provinces for hospitals:
``The responsibility for managing hospital acquired infections is a provincial and territorial responsibility. The Public Health Agency of Canada offers assistance when asked by provinces and territories.''
Accurate enough.  But as many have observed, success has many fathers but failure is a..., well, it's an orphan.  

Regardless, we do need to find out why Canada has a higher rate.

Besides the United States, countries registering the lowest percentages included Germany (3.6 per cent), France (4.4 per cent), Slovenia (4.6 per cent) and Norway (5.1 per cent).


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