Australian Doctors Killing Patients as in the U.S.

A couple of weeks ago, The Bulletproof Blog carried a story about tens of thousands of patients being killed accidently in hospitals across the United States. After watching Sky News in Brisbane this morning, it is clear that the problem is most likely universal.

ABC news in Australia carried a similar story today about a survey completed by junior doctors in Queensland.

The Queensland doctors admitted in a survey that at least 2 patients had died due to mistakes made by them. A staggering 80% admitted to prescribing the wrong medication to patients, while nearly 60% admitted to having made mistakes in performing procedures while they were fatigued.

The findings are quite frightening and shows that overworking doctors can have lethal results. Others admitted to crashing their cars on the way home form work. One rural Queensland doctor worked 168 straight days without having a day off.

Why do administrators and Governments allow this to happen? Countries do not let professional drivers drive until they crash and kill people – they introduce measures to make sure that they are not over-doing it.

It is difficult to imagine that people maybe taking their lives into their hands just by seeking medical attention. Unfortunately, it is not like we can do anything about it either. We may decide to cut our own grass or change the car’s oil ourselves, but we are hardly likely to pick up a scapel and have a go.

It is high time that hospitals once again become places of refuge and hope – not a place to be feared more than the ailments that drive us there in the first place.

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