OECD Health Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

Anglais, Français

The economics of patient safety Part IV: Safety in the workplace

Occupational safety as the bedrock of resilient health systems

Health care settings are inherently hazardous places, with very unpredictable and complex working environments. These hazards and risks not only result in a range of injuries and ill-health among workers but also jeopardise the safety of patients. The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the importance of ensuring that the health care that is provided is safe—for patients and health workers alike. A sufficient, and capable, workforce, is the foundation of resilient systems. Policy makers need to focus now on how to build and support an appropriate workforce to respond to future shocks. This includes health workers beyond the hospital—including those in community, long-term, and primary care. The safety of both patients and health workers should be protected through appropriate mechanisms to ensure the safety of protective equipment and sufficient supplies, appropriate staffing levels, training and support at the workplace. These governance mechanisms are even more relevant when policy makers face trade-offs between health, safety and economic concerns.

Anglais Egalement disponible en : Allemand

JEL: I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; I12: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health Behavior
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