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IAPO supports WHO work to define and formalize the active engagement of NGOs
by IAPO at 1:36PM Wednesday 23 January 2013 (News)

Geneva, Switzerland, 23 January 2013 – The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) today supported World Health Organization (WHO) work to define and formalize the active engagement of NGOs as part of the WHO reform process. This message was central to an intervention made by Jo Groves, IAPO CEO, on WHO reform at the 132nd Session of the WHO Executive Board session in Geneva, Switzerland. The following is taken from IAPO’s statement:

 “…IAPO recognises that the issue of reform is complex with considerable implications for global healthcare governance. IAPO commends WHO’s efforts so far, but we cannot stress enough the need for greater involvement of civil society and particularly patients’ organizations in shaping the reforms.

IAPO supports the WHO’s move towards a new policy that will better define and formalize the active engagement of NGOs, especially those serving patient interests. IAPO takes very seriously our mandate to support all patients’ organizations to effectively represent their members and constituents at all levels of decision-making, including the WHO. These organizations must be empowered to engage without prejudice and regardless of their financial and political resources.

IAPO has invested significant resources in educating and training patients’ organization representatives about the WHO processes and supporting informed participation at local, regional and international meetings. Patients’ organizations offer patients a direct voice in expressing their concerns and needs and also in understanding the options and obligations for sustainable healthcare.

IAPO has developed a set of recommendations for moving this work forward which were shared with WHO in December 2012. These were based on the three areas highlighted by WHO (collaboration, consultation, accreditation). Many of these suggestions are based on the experience IAPO has had working with intergovernmental institutions. It is critical that all those affected by healthcare decision-making have a voice in the forum which sets policy, whether they are national, regional or international. There is no voice more important than that of the patient, and patients’ organizations are their legitimate representatives.

In assuring the legitimacy and credibility of all voices, criteria for consultation, collaboration and accreditation should take into consideration the broad range of stakeholders involved in healthcare and be directed toward bringing diverse voices to the table rather than exclusion. This goal can be achieved only with full disclosure and transparency. IAPO fully supports activities to improve transparency and accountability, and looks forward to working closely with WHO in achieving public health for all.”

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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.

View the press release as a PDF

View the intervention

For further information, please contact:
Mr Jeremiah Mwangi, Policy & External Affairs Director, IAPO
T: +44 20 7250 8278; Email: jeremiah@patientsorganizations.org
Website: www.patientsorganizations.org

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