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Lack of hygiene in hospitals kills one in 100 patients

PORTUGAL’S HEALTH Minister, Correia de Campos, talking during a meeting of European Health Ministers in Sintra last week, admitted that the country had a serious problem of hospital acquired infections.

He said there was mounting evidence to suggest that one in every 100 patients admitted to hospital died as a result of hospital acquired infections, which had nothing to do with the patient’s original condition. He also stated that around 60 per cent of doctors and nurses failed to wash their hands with antiseptic before treating patients and that 40 per cent of hospitals did not have adequate or sufficient hand washing facilities.

According to a recent article published in daily newspaper Público, the Health Ministry is preparing a major national campaign to raise awareness among health professionals of the necessity to maintain basic hygiene standards in medical institutions.

Correia de Campos says the situation in older hospitals is more serious due to poor facilities, lack of space and conditions to comply with modern hygiene regulations.

According to the Health Ministry, a simple action such as doctors and nurses washing their hands after dealing with each and every patient could greatly reduce the chance of infections spreading from one patient to another.