Over 3000 patient advocates in Asia-Pacific come together calling for recovering together through compassion, insight and co-creation

Sunday, 28 November 2021

On 16 and 17 November 2021, 3800 patient advocates, government and policy makers, industry representatives, healthcare professionals, academia representatives, researchers and media came together for the virtual 3rd Asia-Pacific Patients Congress (APPC 2021) to share their vision and lived experience on building back better health systems through the event theme "Recovering together through compassion, insight and co-creation". 


Discussions held at the APPC 2021 all highlighted that patient, family, and community engagement in healthcare decision-making is critical in improving the effectiveness, efficiency, quality, safety and equity of health systems and health technologies development ecosystem. 


The congress concluded with a pledge for patient-centred healthcare where the patient is not only the user, but a contributor and a co-creator to its development and called upon all WHO SEA and WHO WP region Member States, patients, families, industry, and other stakeholder partners to undertake the following short-term measures, mid-term measures and long-term measures: 


Short-term measures 

  • To bring back focus on UHC 2030.
  • Invest more in digital health literacy and adopt the syndemic approach to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the interaction and amplification of biological and social determinants that are important for COVID19 prognosis, treatment, and health policy. 
  • To accelerate the COVID19 vaccination programmes and make them accessible to cover all their populations. We must address vaccine equity. No one is safe until everyone is safe in the region.
  • To invest in the research and development of new effective treatments to reduce the heavy mortality and morbidity amongst COVID19 patients in the region. 
  • To invest in finding treatments for new and emerging diseases and the interplay between environment and health.
  • To support WHO Solidarity Trials.

Mid-term measures 

  • To invest in and revisit the WHO compassionate integrated and people-centred Universal Health Coverage framework. 
  • To invest in integrated health systems because patient journeys in a fragmented healthcare systems are unsafe, ineffective, and cost more when compared to integrated health systems.
  • To invest in and drive the research and development in digital healthcare in the region
  • To leap forward and invest in genomic medicine and drive research and development and uptake of personalised healthcare and precision medicine in the region. 
  • To personalise the full spectrum of health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

Long-term measures 

  • Use effective institution, legislative, policy, practice, and standards framework to create an enabling ecosystem for patient engagement and co-creation at all levels of decision-making in our health systems.
  • Use effective institution, legislative, policy, practice, and standards framework to institutionalise patient engagement in regulatory and health technology assessment bodies in the region. 
  • Undertake more research and development to provide patient preference studies and real-world evidence to regulatory and health technology assessment bodies in the region.
  • Move to a better mix of self-care and health professional supported healthcare with a focus on chronic non-communicable diseases, ageing and rare diseases.
  • Amplify digital healthcare and the ensure equity and equality by building robust infrastructure.
  • Make primary healthcare the bedrock of Universal Health Coverage 2030.
  • Invest in the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 and ensure all Member States have robust patient and family engagement institutionalised to eliminate all avoidable patient harm.

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In case you didn't get a chance to tune in live, or for those wanting to watch a session again, all session recordings are now available on our YouTube channel for you to watch on-demand here.


The 3rd Asia-Pacific Patients Congress was co-organized by the International Alliance of Patients’ organizations (IAPO), Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO) and SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Center.