2016 Durban Congress highlights patient-centred care and safety

‘Addressing the challenge of patient-centred care and safety’ was the theme addressed in the International Hospital Federation (IHF) 40th World Hospital Congress held in Durban, South Africa, 31 October to 3 November 2016, attended by national and international healthcare leaders and organizations from 50 countries.

Discussions on the challenges being encountered by different countries when it comes to making patients the centre of quality and affordable healthcare services and management, as well as the solutions on how to improve hospitals’ delivery of quality care and the healthcare status of each country were tackled.
Quality of Care, Capacity Building in Leadership and Management, Governance and Accountability, Ethics and Medical Legal Issues, Financing and Universal Health Coverage, Health Technology, and Service Delivery were some of the tracks explored during the Congress.
Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, the Honourable Minister of Health of the host country, Republic of South Africa, mentioned in his welcome message the two objectives of the South African National Development Plan that are needed to be comprehended not only by African healthcare leaders and personnel, but by all healthcare leaders internationally: ‘(1) The quality of services in the public health system must be improved (2) The relative cost of private healthcare must be reduced.’
These two important points were emphasized and tackled in detail in the three-day congress through member, free paper and special sessions as well as the pre-congress meetings, which included the African Regional meeting, hosted by the National Department of Health of South Africa.
Erik Normann, IHF President, in his opening remarks, expressed his delight at the fact that the Durban Congress was the first to be hosted by IHF on the African continent since the creation of the IHF in 1929.
Apart from addressing the challenges and delivering interesting and trending healthcare topics, the congress has also made sure that all the events and activities held would make a difference in patient-centred care by featuring cutting-edge delivery approaches and inventive management practices.
Aligned with those innovative healthcare management practices, IHF members and delegates had unique opportunities to exhibit and share their accomplishments and practices in hospital leadership to the global healthcare community through expositions.
The IHF CEO Circle, the exclusive professional network for senior healthcare executives was also highlighted in the congress through meetings.

IHF 2016 International Awards
The IHF 2016 International Awards attracted many excellence entries from 19 countries. The Awards, given to hospitals, not individuals, because healthcare is acknowledged as a team endeavour, recognize achievements in several areas, such as quality and patient safety, corporate social responsibility, innovations in service delivery at affordable costs, and healthcare leadership and management practices.

In the last day of the event, the delegates were also given the chance to visit and tour some of the distinguished hospitals and healthcare facilities in Durban, South Africa which included: KZN Children’s Hospital, Ethekwini Hospital and Heart Centre, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, King Dinuzulu Hospital, and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.
All the mentioned activities and events of this year’s World Hospital Congress show its key unique features on how it can contribute and respond to the needs in the global healthcare nowadays.
Delegates were already looking forward to attending next year’s congress, the IHF 41st World Hospital Congress, which will take place 7-9 November 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan, with the theme ‘Patient-friendly and Smarter Healthcare’.
The IHF World Hospital Congress, being held annually, is a unique global forum’ and a one-stop shop’ for the healthcare professionals in quest of an unparalleled environment to exchange insights, experiences, and expertise in the sector of health management and service delivery.
IHF having as a mission to enhance knowledge that can translate into practice for those having the responsibilities to lead healthcare organizations is making available all the resources that were shared during this congress.
A selection of Congress presentations appears on pages 15-17 of this issue of International Hospital.