PSD2019: patient advocates call for accountability on promises made

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Accelerating progress for patient-centred Universal Health Coverage   

Patient Solidarity Day (PSD) 2019 has come and gone and we thank and congratulate everyone who joined the campaign and helped spread the word on accelerating progress for safe patient-centred Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This seventh PSD was different from previous years. Our goal was to build on the momentum created through the recently marked World Patient Safety Day campaign which was a global commitment by all WHO member states to recognise patient safety as a key health priority and agree to take action to reduce patient harm in health care settings. 

To that end, the PSD2019 campaign drew attention to the need for increased accountability on political commitments made to ensure a safe UHC. 

Patients advocates used the day for two things: 

1. To raise awareness and remind the world of the two important commitments our leaders committed to during the 72nd World Health Assembly and the UN High Level Meeting to work with renewed urgency to accelerate progress towards a safe UHC for all. 
This was based on the belief that effective and successful patient advocacy relies on us having access to clear information on what exactly leaders committed to.

2. To call on world leaders to ensure these commitments are translated into action

Evaluation by members and partners who responded to our communication felt that the day was a positive endeavour, which successfully achieved its objectives by: 

• Raising awareness and community engagement 
• Communicating a strong, united patient voice 
• Building cross-sector alliances

Based on the feedback, we plan to make Patient Solidarity Day even better in 2020, with a range of more tools delivered well in advance, more engagement with decision-makers, and a strong online presence. 
Thank you for all of your support and we look forward to 2020!

Here’s a look at the activities that took place to mark the campaign.

The PSD2019 message spread far and wide to the 2nd Saudi Patient Safety Centre International Patient Safety Conference in Saudi Arabia. Delegates present marked the day through the endorsement of a statement that urged all stakeholders in the region to implement the principles of the Global Action on Patient Safety resolution and the Jeddah Declaration. Participants included patients, healthcare professionals and policy makers.

The European Academy of Paediatrics marked the day through their EAP winter meeting where delegates present called on leaders to ensure that  every child has access to the healthcare they need, when they need it.  

NCD Alliance marked the day by launching two mini documentaries that share  the journey of two inspiring NCDvoices from Ghana & India narrating how their lived experiences have propelled them to drive change, call for health for all and  advocate for accelerated NCD action. Watch their stories here:


The Philippine Alliance of Patients Organizations (PAPO) celebrated Patient Solidarity Day through an event that brought together various patient advocates. Guest of Honor, former Philippine Medical Association President Atty. Bu Castro, MD spoke about strengthening the patient-doctor relationship in line with the PSD theme. Dialysis PH and PAPO young leader Caio V Ricerra also shared her experience in putting together a Patient’s Medical Journal. They also used the day to launch the new PAPO website

Fight the Fakes marked the day through a social media campaign with dedicated messaging and social media cards for this day. They called on the world to speak out against the dangers of substandard and falsified medicines for patients, communities and countries as a whole. They also called for patient centred health systems which leave no one behind with patients being meaningfully involved in discussions and decision-making processes on the importance of putting patient safety in the centre of universal health coverage.

Health First Europe addressed, jointly with the Spanish Patients’ Forum a letter to the Spanish Minister of Health to act on tackling patient harm, as well as an advocacy article with Tuscany region to promote best practice sharing across regions. Additionally, in collaboration with the European Network for Safer Care organised a workshop at the European Health Forum Gastein entitled “Digital solutions & surveillance systems for patient safety” which aimed at encourage a ‘safety culture’ & a blame-free approach to patient safety report. They also launched a Joint Call on Patient Safety and Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Prevention and Control, calling on the European Commission to adopt a pan-European Infection prevention and control strategy addressing the health, social, economic and environment determinants, which influences infection diseases. HAIs are the most frequent adverse event during care delivery and still remain a major threat to patient safety.

Patient Safety Learning marked the day by publishing a blog by their CEO Helen Hughes where she talked about how patient engagement is essential for a patient-safe future.   

Diabetes India Youth in Action (DIYA) celebrated Patient Solidarity Day through holding a social media campaign to engage and sensitize the Type-1 diabetes audience on the PSD 2019 theme. Specifically focusing on Instagram, DIYA also had a conversation in an effort to raise awareness on diabetes stigma and call for people to better understand and honour patients and their needs without the traditional stigma attached.