2019 Theme

Theme: Patient Safety: a global health priority

Slogan: Speak up for Patient Safety!

Safety in healthcare is a global concern because of increasing numbers of people suffering avoidable harm or being put at risk of injury while receiving healthcare. Patient harm due to adverse events is a leading cause of death and disability everywhere in the world. Each year, an estimated 134 million adverse events occur due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths, while approximately 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care in high-income countries.

The endorsement of the World Patient Safety Day at the 72nd World Health Assembly  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 all countries. This means that if all regions and countries aim to achieve UHC, the issue of patient safety must be carefully considered and prioritized.

Through this global campaign, we will mobilize patients, health workers, policy makers, academicians, researchers, professional networks and the healthcare industry to “Speak up for Patient Safety!”. 

The campaign invites all health stakeholders to collaborate with governments towards promoting and supporting patient safety initiatives. We aim to raise awareness among policy-makers, healthcare leaders, health workers and other key stakeholders about the need to formulate policies, create a work culture, and provide care where the safety of patients is a priority. The campaign also seeks to help patients be more aware and engaged in their own care. 

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, World Patient Safety Day presents an opportunity to advocate for safer healthcare for everyone by holding all stakeholders accountable on commitments they have made to prioritize patient safety in all countries.

We hope that countries, regions and partners will use the day to engage in policy dialogue and formulate patient safety action plans. All this as an effort to establish systems and networks that support the engagement, participation and empowerment of patients, families and communities and civil society in the delivery of safer healthcare. Only multi-stakeholder collaboration will allow us to outline the necessary steps to tackle patient safety for everyone as it is an issue that cuts across various levels. By coming together this World Patient Safety Day, we call on all stakeholders to develop healthcare strategies that will guarantee patient safety for all.