More than 600 experts and just short of 80 ministerial delegations from all over the world took part in the fifth Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety held in Montreux on 23 and 24 February. Discussions focused on the concrete measures required to improve patient safety. Participants agreed that, despite the progress made, further action is required to ensure effective, quality treatment for all patients. Chile will be organising the next summit in 2024.
Harm suffered by patients in healthcare affects all countries, regardless of their income and geographic location. The Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety, organised with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), brings together political decision-makers and experts in a different country each year with the aim of promoting patient security and the quality of care. Swiss President Alain Berset welcomed more than 600 experts and just short of 80 foreign delegations from all over the world – including some 30 ministers of health – to this fifth summit. The organisers had also been able to count on the presence of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the event.
Learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic
The consensus to emerge from the ministerial discussions was that, despite the progress made throughout the world, further efforts are required to ensure that all patients receive appropriate, safe and high-quality care. In this respect, the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis hold enormous potential for developing more resilient health systems. The measures required include, in particular, increased global cooperation in a wide range of sectors as well as an improved learning culture on safety.
WHO global action plan
The summit provided an opportunity to remind participants of the importance of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030, which sets out a comprehensive roadmap for improving patient safety. The ministers and experts also recognised key national and international initiatives that had been taken and the commitment of numerous stakeholders throughout the world.