2018 theme


Theme: Safe Medication and Healthcare for All

On Friday 7th December 2018, health stakeholders from all over the world will stand together, united in a celebration of Patient Solidarity Day (PSD). This will be the sixth year running that we have joined hands to mark the Day. On PSD 2018, IAPO members, patients, various healthcare organizations, policy-makers, academia, institutions, industry and other stakeholders will come together to call for safe medication and healthcare for all. Patient Safety is a critical global public health issue, which plays a crucial role in enabling and supporting health systems achieve sustainable and effective Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

However, safe medicines are currently a global concern in view of increasing numbers of falsified and substandard medicines as well as medication errors. Such occurrences, marked with very personal stories and experiences of suffering from patients, represent a high global public health burden in regard to physical, psychological, and economical loss. Patients tend to believe they are receiving correct treatment, but very often they in fact could potentially be getting dangerous and harmful medicines that could not only cause more illness or/and disability but also end in death.

The third Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety in April 2018 and endorsement of the Tokyo Declaration on Patient Safety at the Summit showed that although health systems and their effectiveness differ from country to country, patient safety issues have very similar if not the same causes in every country. This means that if all regions and countries aim to achieve UHC, the issue of patient safety is inescapable and must be carefully considered and prioritized.

A key tenet of IAPO’s Patient-Centred Healthcare Declaration is that patients must have access to safe, quality and appropriate treatments as warranted by their conditions.  If the principle of patient safety is not properly guaranteed in health policy and practice, no healthcare system can be viewed truly patient centric. Therefore, this year’s PSD presents an opportunity to advocate for safe medicines for all by holding all stakeholders accountable on commitments they have made to achieve UHC in all countries, because without patient safety universal health coverage cannot be achieved.

We, International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations, are fully committed to advocate for patient safety through our three year strategy 2019-2021 as well as our collaborative work with the World Health Organization, including the Patient for Patient Safety Programme and the Third Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication without Harm. Additionally, we have joined the Fight the Fakes Campaign which aims to raise awareness about the danger of fake medicines, and also gives a voice to those who have suffered personally by giving them a platform to share their experiences with the public.

Only through a multi-stakeholder collaboration can we really outline the necessary steps to tackle unsafe medicines for all as it is an issue that cuts across various levels. By coming together this Patient Solidarity Day 2018, we call on all stakeholders to develop healthcare strategies that will guarantee safe medicines for all.

Patient Safety Resources

Past themes

  • 2013: Improve lives through patient-centred healthcare
  • 2014: One Voice. United. Universal (Universal Health Coverage)
  • 2015: Healthcare is a Human Right
  • 2016: Leave no-one behind: patient-centred universal healthcare for all
  • 2017: Globally Empowered Patients: Power through Knowledge