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Europeans About Medical Errors

A survey carried out on behalf of European Commission shows that more than  ¾ of Europeans consider medical errors an important issue, but only ¼ have come across them personally. Among the most distrust as far as hospitals and doctors go are the polish.

78 % of the surveyed in Eurobarometer Survey stated that medical errors were an important problem, but only 23% admitted that they had experienced a medical error personally or in their family and less than half (40 %) were afraid  that they would be faced with such a problem. The majority of Europeans (69%) trust doctors. However, almost half consider it probable that a serious medical error can be committed at hospital.

Eurobarometer Survey indicates a wide gap in perceiving the problem of medical errors by citizens of particular member countries. The Austrian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Estonian fear medical errors the least. On the other hand, the surveyed from Italy, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Cyprus stated that medical errors were an important problem in their country. The survey indicates that inhabitants of these countries are more often afraid of medical errors and have less trust in doctors not committing such a mistake.

Among the surveyed Poles 91 % were convinced that medical errors were a serious problem in their country nowadays. Nevertheless, only 28 % had come across it personally or among their family members. However, only one in the three (34 %) trusts that a doctor will not commit an error and half are afraid that they will fall victim to an error while in hospital.

A report of Eurobarometer Survey has been published at the website of European Commission:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph information/documents/ eb 64 en.pdf



Patients Safety Foundation