IAPO’s member engagement and empowerment plan for 2017 - setting out the key themes

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

2016 was a great year for IAPO and our community of members and collaborators! In April 2016, we held the 7th Global Patient Congress  which was attended by 136 delegates from different backgrounds. In December 2016, patients from all over the world came together to celebrate Patient Solidarity Day and call on healthcare stakeholders to ensure that no-one is left behind.


These exciting activities provided our members with important opportunities to advocate around key healthcare issues and strengthen their networks. Our work, however, is not done and it is now time to look ahead at the challenges and opportunities facing patient communities in 2017. IAPO’s 2017 member engagement plan will be centred on the following key themes:


Patient-centred healthcare (February – April)

IAPO’s mission is to achieve patient-centred healthcare. If this objective is to be fulfilled, it is paramount to work in close collaboration with healthcare stakeholders, call on decision-makers to place patients at the centre of their choices, and anticipate the challenges brought about by the quick transformations that healthcare systems are currently undergoing.  In our work on patient-centred healthcare throughout 2017, we will be exploring the practical implications that the principles contained in our Declaration can have on patients and patient advocates. We will also highlight and explore specific policy issues that stand at the core of the concept of patient-centredness, such as patient information.

Access (May-July)

The second key theme will be access. For IAPO, a patient-centred healthcare system is one in which access to care goes hand in hand with quality of care. Access to essential medicines and treatments represents one of the fundamental pillars of every person’s right to health. That said, IAPO believes that patients should at the same time be enabled to take charge of their own healthcare.  A patient is not just an object with a condition. This is why it is equally important that patients enjoy full and meaningful access to decision-making processes on issues related to their own healthcare. In developing this theme, we will pay close attention to questions such as how to best involve patients in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) mechanisms, which will in turn shed light on the crucial issue of patient safety.

Transparency and accountability (August-October)

To achieve patient-centred universal health coverage by 2030, we call on stakeholders and decision-makers to deliver on their pledges and to work in close collaboration with patient organizations. If this is to be a meaningful relationship, it must build on the principles of transparency and accountability, which will represent our third key theme for 2017. We will discuss the key principles according to which cross-stakeholder partnerships should be forged and we will also look at specific areas for cross-stakeholder collaborations, such as transparent pain management and patient involvement in clinical research.

Patient Solidarity Day  - theme to be decided by members (October – December)

The last few months of the year will focus on Patient Solidarity Day (PSD), which will be held on Saturday 2nd December. We are asking for suggestions from everyone (members and non-members) for potential topics for this year’s PSD theme (click here for more information), and then in Spring IAPO members will be given a vote to decide on the winning theme.


These three themes will constitute the pillars of IAPO’s activities for 2017. We look forward to working with our members around these issues to continue influencing global policy-making and make patients’ voices stronger.


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