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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 41 million health professionals worldwide, and is the only alliance which convenes knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

WHA71 Intervention on Draft thirteenth general programme of work, 2019–2023

WHA year

May 2018

Honourable chair, distinguished delegates,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), supported by the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), which represents over 31 million physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and physical therapists in more than 130 countries.

The Thirteenth General Programme of Work highlights that new delivery models for integrated, people-centred services will require innovation and country-specific adaptation. This will only be possible if governments focus on the health workforce and offer decent working conditions and well-equipped health care settings. We wish to stress as well that interprofessional collaboration is a prerequisite for people-centred services, in order to avoid duplication, gaps and discontinuity of care in the patient’s journey through the health system. Interprofessional collaborative practice requires opportunities to interact meaningfully with other professions from early on in a professional’s development, such as during undergraduate education.

We very much welcome the addition of patient safety to the Programme, under “service access and quality” (point 34). This addition is certainly timely; at the recent third Global Patient Safety Summit in Tokyo, Japan, 44 participating countries called for greater commitment to accelerate progress towards improving patient safety globally, in order to reduce all avoidable harm and the risk of harm to all people, whoever they are and wherever they live, during their interaction with healthcare systems, by 2030.

We, healthcare professionals, support the adoption of this Thirteenth General Programme of Work by the Assembly today. We appreciate having been given the opportunity to review, comment on and shape this programme over the past year, as we believe that consultation and engagement with health professional organisations will strongly influence the success of the Programme’s implementation.

Finally, we look forward to collaborating with the WHO under this Programme and express our continued commitment.

Thank you.