International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Global action on patient safety
Statement: 

Today, we are speaking on behalf of more than 1.3 million medical students around the world on the importance of patients’ safety. As future healthcare providers, we believe that investing in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education is essential for safer practice.

Each year, over 2.6 million people die in low- and middle-income countries due to unsafe medical practices, raising the disability-adjusted life years by 64 million years. With more than 1.4 billion US$ spent on compensating medical errors, huge portions of middle and low-income countries’ healthcare budgets are spent in lost productivity. The overall impact of unsafe practices can also end in political, economic and social mistrust between the governments, their health systems and the community.

Health professions education is the core of high-quality health services; quality education remains a key strategy to ensure patient safety. We, thus, affirm the importance of generating and implementing patient-centered accreditation guidelines that follow the values of social accountability, in order to safeguard both health care providers and patients.

We call on Member States to monitor the development and function of medical schools, accreditation agencies, and the service delivery facilities. We urge the development of robust reporting mechanisms, to ensure that all bodies follow up on these recommendations.

We emphasize the urgency to prioritize patients’ safety to achieve Universal Health Coverage as part of the 2030 Agenda. Thus, as youth, we pledge to continue our capacity building and awareness activities in universities and training centers around the world, in order to ensure that future healthcare workers adopt ethical practices and advocate for a more patient-centered education. Hand in hand, we can create safe healthcare systems that our societies deserve.

Thank you