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The Patients' Exchange

Welcome to The Patients' Exchange, where IAPO's Full and Associate Member organizations from all over the world can come together to:

  • find useful resources
  • share expertise and experiences Exchange, Discuss, Share
  • exchange information
  • give advice and support
  • build solidarity between patients' groups worldwide

The primary aim of The Patients' Exchange is to build the capacity of our member organizations worldwide enabling them to be well-informed and effective patient representatives and advocates.

IAPO believes that the best way to build capacity is to enable patients' organizations to exchange their diverse experiences, resources and expertise, creating a stronger global support network.



The Patients' Exchange covers ten main topic areas of relevance to patients' organizations worldwide: Advocacy, Basics, Collaboration, Communications, Fundraising, Patient-Centred Healthcare, Patient Services, People, Policy Formulation and Project Management.



An ever-increasing function of patients' organizations is to represent patients and advocate on their behalf.  This means working to improve healthcare policy and systems so that patients' needs are met and that patients are at the centre. 

What is a patients' organization?  What do they do?  How are they set up?  This section also deals with practicalities such as office space, computer equipment and access to the internet.

Patients' organizations need to develop collaborative relations with many other stakeholders in order to achieve their aims.  IAPO believes that effective collaboration at the local, national, regional and international levels with health professionals, governments, corporations and of course, other patients' organizations, is key for patient-centred healthcare.

Most patients' organizations have a message to convey to patients, other stakeholders or the public.  This section gives advice about communicating effectively, including information about successful websites, email communication, newsletters and patient information. 

The majority of patients' organizations around the world have at least one thing in common - a severe lack of funds!!  Advice and expertise from other patients' groups on surviving financial difficulties and developing sustainable sources of income is invaluable. 

Patient Services
The central aim of many patients' organizations is to provide support and services to the patients and patient representatives that make up its membership.  This area will inspire you with details of the achievements of other patients' organizations around the world, and resources to help you improve your services.   

Patient-Centred Healthcare
Patient organizations are playing a key role in developing healthcare systems around the world so that patient needs are at the centre. This area will provide you will useful tools to promote Patient-Centred Healthcare on behalf of the patients you represent.

The staff, volunteers and boards that found and run patients' organizations are usually highly motivated and dedicated individuals, many of whom are unpaid for the work they do.  Recruiting and managing an effective team is difficult, especially on a small budget.

Policy Formulation
Patients' organizations with limited resources may not have time to research how to develop and communicate policies that are consistant and transparent. This area will help build your capacity to represent the patients' voice effectively.

Project Management                                     
Good project management helps to ensure that projects are coordinated, delivered on time and within budget and risks are identified and managed appropriately.

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