Press Release: How can patient-centred access to healthcare be realised in Latin America?

Press Release: How can patient-centred access to healthcare be realised in Latin America?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Mexico City, Mexico, 24 September 2013 – “To achieve patient-centred access to healthcare in Latin America, patients need to be informed, empowered and involved in shaping our healthcare systems” stated Eva Maria Ruiz de Castilla, IAPO Governing Board Member. This echoed the discussions of the participants at the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) multi-stakeholder seminar ‘Patient-centred access to healthcare in Latin America’ held yesterday.

The seminar brought together over 70 participants including patient group representatives from across Latin America, policy-makers, healthcare professionals, civil society and industry. The seminar addressed three key issues related to access to healthcare in Latin America: non-communicable diseases (NCDs); health technology assessment (HTA) and biological and biosimilar medicines.

Dr Luis Ruben Durán Fontes, Under Secretary of Integration and Development of the Health Sector, gave the opening address and welcomed participants to Mexico. Speakers included: Dr Osvaldo Artaza Barrios, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Mexico; Ricardo Pérez Cuevas, Inter-American Development Bank; Dra Mireya López Gamboa, the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the Instituto de Cancerologia de Mexico; KP Tsang, IAPO Chair; Gisela Ayala, Mexican Diabetes Federation and Gustavo Adolfo Campillo, Antioquia Social Support Network Foundation, Colombia.

During the seminar, participants discussed the significant issues which prevent patients gaining access to safe, quality and affordable healthcare from prevention, through diagnosis and treatment.  Issues highlighted included the differences in the regulatory processes between countries, the challenges with and need for better pharmacovigilance and educating patients and healthcare professionals to promote dialogue and engagement with policy processes. As Gustavo Adolfo Campillo, Antioquia Social Support Network Foundation, Colombia said “We need to educate in order to empower, educate to have a stronger dialogue”.

The conclusion of the seminar was that patient-centred access cannot be realised without patients being fully informed, empowered and involved in all decision-making processes to ensure they meet the needs of patients. 

The seminar was part of a series of IAPO events this week which also include a two day workshop for the IAPO Latin American network of patients’ organizations and a half day meeting for Mexican patients’ organizations led by Red de Acceso.

*******   Note to Editors:

About IAPO: IAPO is the only global alliance representing patients of all nationalities across all disease areas and promoting patient-centred healthcare worldwide.  Our members are patients’ organizations working at the local, national, regional and international levels to represent and support patients, their families and carers. IAPO has over 200 members which span over 60 countries and 50 disease areas and through its membership represents an estimated 365 million patients worldwide. IAPO is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO).   Read more about IAPO's activities in Latin America