Global Patients Congress

10th Global Patients Congress (GPC 2023)

Since 2005, IAPO has held its biennial flagship Global Patients Congress (GPC) to celebrate and learn from the latest innovative landmark achievements made through patient engagement and co-creation in improving the availability, accessibility and acceptability of quality, safe and innovative medicines, health devices and healthcare services across the full spectrum of health care, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care across the life course.

Our 10th Global Patients Congress will be held on 19 - 20 May 2023 at the Maison Internationale des Associations (MIA) in Geneva, Switzerland as a hybrid event during the weekend before the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA76) with the theme Innovative patient partnerships at the heart of global health advancement.  

For the past 75 years, global health and the WHO programmes have advanced through innovative public, private and patient partnerships. Patient organizations have been and continue to build innovative, collaborative and meaningful relationships among health professionals, academics, patients, carers, communities, civil society, pharmaceutical industry, medicines regulators and frontline pharmacists. In recognition of the key role patient organizations play in these partnerships and with the World Health Organization’s marking its 75th anniversary this year, GPC 2023 will highlight and celebrate 75 years of patients' partnerships and patients' co-creation in the advancement of global health.

Organised by the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), a Non-State Actor in Official Relations with the WHO, and the IAPO Patients for Patient Safety Observatory, GPC 2023 will bring together IAPO’s global membership, patient experts, digital innovators, national governments, regulators and other high-level healthcare stakeholders to discuss and share their experiences of working to promote global health through innovative, collaborative and meaningful relationships.


10th GPC Aims and Objectives

  • GPC 2023 aims to celebrate and advocate innovative meaningful patient partnerships be placed at the heart of all build back better value chains. Where better to start this than at the WHA 76 when all the world's attention is upon WHO and us?
  • We want patients placed on ALL health governance and decision-making tables. Where better than with the gathered 194 health ministers and their policy elite teams at WHA 76?
  • Our mission is to give a patient from each of the 194 WHO Member States a platform to have their say during the GPC 2023 and the 76th World Health Assembly
  • The 76th World Health Assembly is triggered to build back better an innovative and sustainable universal health coverage 2030 over the next decade that is safe, quality, accessible, affordable, acceptable, and equitable. We want to be meaningful partners in reshaping our universal health coverage ecosystems. 
  • The next 75 years of health care will rely on genomic medicine, digital health, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Patients must be a co-designer of this brave new world where more emphasis is given to making health care more predictive, preventative, personalised and participatory. GPC 2023 at WHA 76 is the first step that starts this long journey. 


About the Congress 

The Congress is our flagship event where we bring together our global membership with a variety of high-level health care stakeholders to discuss important issues for patients worldwide.

Congress brings together around 200 patient advocates from across the world. Organizations of all sizes share best practice, gain insight into pressing healthcare issues and meet with others passionate about patient-centered healthcare.

Delegates representing dozens of causes unite to strengthen the global patient voice and improve the lives of patients worldwide. They:

  • Meet others in the healthcare field
  • Create national and regional networks
  • Share expertise and speak out on behalf of the patients
  • Learn from leading healthcare experts
  • Discuss the changing healthcare climate


Past Congresses 

The 2020 9th Global Patients Congress was postponed to a virtual event on 16 -17 September 2020, under the theme of 'Co-creation in Innovative Healthcare during COVID-19'.

The re-imagined 9th Global Patients Congress (GPC 2020) was a moment to reflect on the defining health crisis of COVID-19 and its impact on the global patient community. The Congress was an opportunity for focused conversation on the next steps in health system strengthening and preparedness through patient led and co-created innovative solutions in 2020 and beyond. 

Day 2 of GPC coincided with the World Patient Safety Day, whose theme is 'Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety', the day's programme highlighted the theme so aptly underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic that without health worker safety, there can be no patient safety.

Read the GPC 2020 Report


A special milestone - IAPO at 21 

GPC 2020 was also a moment to mark IAPO’s 21st Anniversary. IAPO was formed 21 years ago with the vision of ensuring patients are at the centre of healthcare throughout the world. At the 9th Global Patients Congress, we have come of age.  We are an optimistic, confident and a well-informed global patients' movement that is integrated into the global healthcare policy and decision making infrastructure.


The 2018 Global Patients Congress was held on 24 - 26 May 2018 at the Marriott Dadeland Hotel in Miami, Florida USA.

Theme: Globally Empowered Patients. Building the Momentum.

122 delegates from 30 countries came together to discuss how we continue building the momentum.

Building on the success of Patient Solidarity Day 2017, the Global Patient Congress 2018 represented an ideal venue in which the patient community was be able to discuss avenues to patient empowerment such as:

  • Knowing your expertise
  • Knowing your rights
  • Knowing your network
  • Knowing your support
  • Knowing your windows of opportunity

Check out photos and videos from the last Global Patients Congress to learn more about why this event should be on your 2020 list. Read the full report on the 2018 Congress here.




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