Top of the Rot: Portugal’s infected hospitals kill thousands

A shock report has revealed that Portugal’s hospitals are among the worst in Europe when it comes to catching infections. Already, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation has stressed that thousands die here every year from bugs picked up in hospitals – but the truth is that Portugal registers double the number of infections when compared with averages of its European counterparts. A new campaign “Stop Infeção Hospitalar” now aims to turn things round.

The campaign has been launched in 12 state hospitals in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the US Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

The plan is to cut infections contracted when patients are already in hospital by at least 10.5%.

As Gulbenkian’s researchers have stressed, thousands die in Portuguese hospitals every year after contracting infections in hospital, but it is not known how many of these would have died anyway.

Talking to TSF radio today (Tuesday), a spokesman for the foundation suggested 4,500 people died in 2013 as a result of infections that they picked up in hospital but the health ministry have said this kind of assessment is “impossible to make”.

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