Dutch hospitals are reporting but a fraction of all suspect deaths, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own inquiries.
In 2009 Dutch hospitals reported 243 suspect deaths – those potentially caused by medical error – to the Health Inspectorate. But the same year a report estimated the number of deaths resulting from medical errors could be as high as 1,960 cases per year. That means that some 1,700 cases were not reported.
Hospitals are obliged to report any cases where medical errors are suspected. RTL requested the lists containing the actual cases reported from the Health Inspectorate and found that hospitals were seriously under-reporting the number of cases. The Health Inspectorate has confirmed the allegation.
Hospitals are dominated by a culture in which not all cases are reported, the Health Inspectorate says. Since 2010 the Health Inspectorate can impose fines for cases of under-reporting but in practice has never done so.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide