Launch event for Future of Hospitals and Health Systems initiative

Date:  20 June 2024
On 6 June in Geneva, Switzerland, the IHF and the Geneva Sustainability Centre hosted the launch event for a new initiative in the hospital and healthcare sector alongside the French Development Agency, the Aga Khan Development Network, the Climate Action Accelerator, and La Chaîne de L’Espoir. 

The “future of hospitals and their health systems” initiative was developed in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The goal is to ensure fit-for-future hospitals and health systems, with a particular focus on settings with lower resources (whether financial, human, or technical).

The full-day launch event gathered 274 participants from 50 countries and territories for a hybrid, bilingual (English and French) forum. 60 speakers and guests attended in person, with a further 214 people joining in online. 

In a series of technical exchanges, three key topics formed the agenda:

  • human resources in hospitals and their healthcare systems: challenges and key models to face shortages and build new skills;
  • environmentally-sustainable hospitals and their health systems: focus on low carbon, resilient, and sustainable healthcare models;
  • investment and resource mobilization: involving the financing community and exploring resource mobilization prerequisites for hospital and their health systems transformation.

Panelists included representatives from the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), Health Care Without Harm, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among several other speakers representing both public and private hospitals, NGOs, and academic institutions around the world.

Following the launch event, Dr Gijs Walraven, Director for Health, AKDN, shared:

“The future of hospitals and health systems holds profound implications not just for the people they serve, but also for the communities they are embedded in and the only planet earth that we all call home. As we navigate the complexities of modern healthcare, it is imperative that we envision a future of health systems that are not only accessible, efficient, affordable and of high quality but also equitable, sustainable and compassionate.

The traditional model of hospitals as mere brick-and-mortar institutions focused solely on treating illness is no longer adequate. We must embrace a paradigm shift towards holistic health systems that prioritize health promotion, disease prevention, wellness, and community engagement. Health education and primary health care must start in the home, with other healthcare services increasingly available as close to the home as possible. This is good for people, places, and the planet. The future of hospitals lies in their ability to become anchor institutions, serving as hubs and centres of excellence for high-end specialty service delivery, training, innovation, and research. Hospitals should support comprehensive health systems that foster wellbeing at every level: physical, mental, and social.”

Sonia Roschnik, Executive Director, IHF Geneva Sustainability Centre, added:

“The IHF and its members, representing leaders of hospitals globally, work together to drive the transformation towards safety and quality of care in every context. The IHF established the Geneva Sustainability Centre in 2022 to support the integration of low-carbon, sustainable and resilient healthcare as part of this transformation.

The Future of Hospitals and their Health Systems initiative provides an opportunity to focus on the need for hospitals in low resources settings as part of the global health agenda. Our launch event gathered representatives from the IHF membership and partners’ networks, willing to contribute to and advance this initiative forward. This was the starting point of a dialogue aimed at providing clear and operational solutions to hospital leaders in vulnerable contexts.”

Coming next: Sustainable quality of care

We invite you to the next technical exchange at the IHF World Hospital Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday 11 September.

Recordings available from sessions on 6 June

Keynote speakers - Introductory remarks

-Agnès Soucat, Director of Health and Social Protection, AFD
-Dr Gijs Walraven, Director for Health AKDN
-Dr Relebohile Ncha, Chief Director: Hospitals and Tertiary Health Services, National Department of Health, South Africa
-Prof. Karl Blanchet, Director of the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies and Professor in Humanitarian Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Panel 1: Human resources in hospitals and healthcare systems

-Prof. Gabriel Ciss, Head of the cardio-vascular service of Public Hospital (CHU) Fann, Senegal
-Dr Xavier Raingeval, Anaesthetist and trainer, France
-Dr Fely Marilyn Lorenzo, Retired professor, College of Public Health at the University of the Philippines; Former Project Director USAIDHRH2030
-Aseel J Faraj MPH, Projects manager, Community Health, La Chaine de l’espoir, Jordan

Moderator: Catherine Kane, Technical Officer, WHO

Panel 2: Environmentally sustainable hospitals and health systems

-Mélanie Tarabbo, Operational Medical Manager, ALIMA (the Alliance for International Medical Action), France
-Jit Sohal, Regional Climate Manager, Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia
-Dr Toseef Din, Chief Executive Officer, M. P. Shah Hospital, Kenya
-Dr Juan Felipe Valencia Rios, General Director, SES University Hospital, Caldas, Colombia

Moderator: Bruno Jochum, Executive Director and founder, Climate Action Accelerator

Panel 3: Investment and resource mobilization

-Tata Sumirat, Team Leader, PTSMI, Indonesia
-Dr Lia Partakusuma, PERSI Hospital Association of Indonesia
-Marion Cros, Senior Economist, Health at World Bank Group
-Dr Ignacio Astorga, Health Lead Specialist, Inter American Development Bank, El Salvador

Moderator: Thomas Kergall, Senior Technical Advisor for Health & Social Care at Council of Europe Development Bank

Closing remarks

-Dr Gijs Walraven, Director for Health, AKDN
-Pierre Kempf – Deputy Head, Division of Health, and Social Protection, AFD

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