India to have national patient safety policy: Azad


New Delhi : India will soon have a National Patient Safety Policy to provide patients with a safer healthcare environment, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said here Monday.

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Noting that the country has many national programmes to control and eradicate various diseases but nothing on patient safety, he said: “We are proposing to put in place a National Patient Safety Policy.”

He was speaking at the launch of the national initiative for patient safety, jointly organised by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), World Health Organisation (WHO) and the India Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN).

INCLEAN is a cluster of seven regional clinical epidemiology units that are members of International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN), a global network.

Azad said medical students will be taught about patient safety so that they understand the need to provide a safe healthcare environment to the patients, the minister said and hoped that the policy will act as “a stepping stone for a safer healthcare environment”.

Azad said they also plan to launch a National Infection Control Policy and National Accident Prevention Policy.

“Efforts should be made to inculcate culture of safe environment in hospitals where patients and visitors will not be looked upon as customers and will feel safe and secure,” he said.

According to the WHO estimates one in 10 people receiving health care will suffer preventable harm.

The minister said in India, there is not much research on incidence of the occurrence of preventable errors.

“We have not kept pace with the developments in this field and have to work now on war footing on this national initiative,” he added.

“Safety is everyone’s business. So my idea of patient safety will be focused to �patient first concept’,” the minister said.

“Accountability should not be person-oriented but organisation-oriented. Learning from others mistakes will help us in preventing medical errors,” Azad said.