IAPO Chair’s thoughts on Global Patients Congress 2016
In December 2014, a year and a half in advance, IAPO began to plan the 2016 Congress. The Governing Board and staff wanted to plan a patient-centric congress that was informative, participatory, relevant, patient-led and, above all else, fun and a useful networking opportunity for our members, partners and other stakeholders.
Now that it has taken place, I am proud to say the event did not disappoint! We had a great 2016 Global Patients Congress, judging from the ‘buzz’ on the floor, the number of networking meetings, the robust debates and all those special one-to-one conversations that members held to help others in their capacity building by sharing ideas, strategy, tactics and offering resources; I even heard that one group held a ‘swima-conference’ at 7 am in the hotel pool!
We were delighted to welcome 136 delegates from 40 countries. 92 of the delegates were patients’ representatives and remaining participants included researchers, policy-makers, advisory bodies, staff and industry partners.
Members bring the programme to life
We initially planned a ‘for patients, by patients’ approach for Congress, looking at innovation within our alliance and industry partners that was already sustainably improving the reach and impact of health systems. I am glad we went with the idea; complementing a number of external keynote speakers, most of the Congress was delivered by speakers from within our member patient organizations and industry partners.
Members brought the programme and content to life with insight, experience, humour and openness in taking questions head-on within debates. Partners offered insight into innovative approaches which were delivering change for patients by improving the access, quality, safety, acceptability and equity of health services, medicines and devices.
Thank you all for having delivered an iconic patient-centred Global Patients Congress 2016. Our work has just started!