Highlights of the 4th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Momentum continues to be built for the global patient safety agenda as health stakeholders gathered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between 2-3 March 2019 for the 4th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety.

The focus of this year’s summit was to develop and define strategies that would support the integration of patient safety as an essential element in achieving universal health coverage. Although the main focus remains global, there were specific goals aimed at low and middle-income countries (LMICs) which according to the WHO, carry 2/3 of the global patient harm burden. In line with this, Saudi Arabia committed to leading a patient-safety outreach initiative and to work on setting patient-safety research priorities with special emphasis on LMICs.

This summit is a part of a Global Series that began in 2016 in London and now in its 4th cycle. It brought together international patient safety experts, political decision-makers and other stakeholders involved in the global movement for patient safety. This is in recognition that although health systems differ from country to country, many threats to patients’ safety have similar causes and often can be addressed by similar solutions.

One of the highlights of the summit was the adoption of the Jeddah Declaration for Patient Safety 2019. It endorses recommendations from the 3rd Patient Safety Summit hosted by the Japanese Government in Tokyo (2018) and continues to focus on them with a special emphasis on Low and Middle Income Countries. This declaration is a call to action providing guidelines and recommendations for patient safety in health delivery. 

Key decisions from the Jeddah Declaration

  1. To adapt best practices in patient safety to fit local contexts
  2. To include patient safety in all healthcare curricula
  3. To develop standardized terminology for patient safety
  4. To develop a robust regulatory process that ensures safe use of digital health technology
  5. To develop national patient-safety strategies in consultation with communities and healthcare professionals
  6. To promote health literacy for effective decision-making

The full Jeddah Declaration for Patient Safety 2019 can be found here.

IAPO CEO, Kawaldip Sehmi was at the summit where he made a speech on behalf of the patients’ community. Read his speech here.