New year's resolutions in 2016

Friday, 8 January 2016

Welcoming in a new year often brings reflection in our personal and professional lives as we think about what is coming up and what changes we want to make.

This year, we look forward to what IAPO can do at a global level, and how you and your patient communities can work regionally, nationally and locally to respond to the huge challenge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. As WHO Director General Margaret Chan recently said at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference,

"The agreement is not just a treaty for saving the planet, it is also a significant public health treaty with huge potential to save lives worldwide”.

The crucial role of health

Many of us declared that health is a human right during Patient Solidarity Day in December, and when health is compromised, there are severe consequences on our work, families and communities. The health of our world has a big impact on our own health too. Clean and safe water, accessible education and equal opportunities underpin society’s ability to protect our health throughout our lives. So although health takes the lead in SDG three, it is embedded in the full list of goals.

New year's resolutions

We can all use these new opportunities to highlight the importance of a strong and vital patient voice. It is a big task, but as with any of your personal new year resolutions, starting from where you are and recognising what you are already doing to make a difference, is crucial. What results can you highlight to the media and policy-makers that demonstrate how informed and empowered patient involvement improves services and outcomes?

IAPO will continue to advocate for a stronger patient voice throughout the health system and care pathways, including in research, medicine and device decision-making, and policy development. For some inspiration or ideas, check out articles on how to question numbers so you are ready to question statements and statistics from governments and health agencies, or take a look at the School for Health and Care Radicals on how you can rock the boat while not falling out. It is a free, online and global programme and registration is closing soon (early Feb)! You might also want to check out the European Patient Ambassador Programme or the EUPATI Patients Academy to pick up some new skills yourself or to suggest to your own members.

Share your examples with us

We gain from collaborating and this will be something we build with you all this year. Please email us with any examples of impact or ideas to share with other members.

Best wishes for your advocacy and campaigning efforts. See you at Congress!