International Alliance of Patients' Organizations

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Preparation for the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage

The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) is an alliance of patient groups in official relationship with the WHO and representing the interests of patients worldwide. We have over 270 member organizations based in over 70 countries covering over 50 different disease areas.

We welcome the Director-Generals’ report A72/14 and concur with it that Universal Health Coverage is both a goal in itself and a means for implementing other goals. We further endorse that Member States:

• Should engage in discussions and support the process to prepare a draft political declaration on achieving universal health coverage, for adoption at the high-level meeting.
• Should translate political commitments already made into concrete commitments for action, including the improvement of implementation capacity for universal health coverage and include them in the draft political declaration.

We, however, want to add that the draft political declaration should also acknowledge the Director General’s Report A72/26 Patient Safety: Global action on patient safety (WHA 72 agenda item 12.5). The Political Declaration must put patient safety first in pursuit of universal health coverage. This will not only enable universal health coverage to be delivered, but also reassure communities that they can trust their health care systems to keep them and their families safe. Adopting this approach will ensure that the Member States, during the planning and resourcing of their vision of universal health coverage, are not using flawed and wasteful models of care.

We urge the Health Assembly to note the report and focus its discussions on providing strategic directions to enable the global community to make a coordinated effort towards achieving safe universal health coverage. The Health Assembly is also urged to adopt the draft resolution recommended by the Executive Board in resolution EB144.R10.
Thank you for your attention.