Hospital leaders build global resilience at the 44th World Hospital Congress

The 44th World Hospital Congress (WHC) came to an upbeat close last week in Barcelona (Spain), a year later than originally planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the first time, the event was fully hybrid, facilitating the participation of more than 1,000 delegates from over 70 countries either in-person and virtually. For four days, leaders and decision-makers in the healthcare community shared knowledge and good practices, exchanged new ideas and innovations, and networked with other senior executives.
The theme for this 44th WHC was “People on board: Transforming healthcare by blending agility, responsiveness, and resilience”. Highlights of the programme were:

    • Opening Ceremony keynote address by Dr Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe of the World Health Organization.
    • Public health leaders and hospital CEOs in Europe and North America exchanged ideas on getting ready for the next global pandemic.
    • Key stakeholders from industry, government and public health shared the lessons to learn from accelerating research, development and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Leaders in nursing outlined their critical contribution to transforming healthcare during a worldwide pandemic.
    • A European-focused session explored ways to adopt, implement and scale up the organizational and technological innovations to come from the pandemic.
    • Speakers from healthcare and industry demonstrated the potential of technology to better humanize healthcare and deliver a more personable and dedicated patient experience.
    • The winners in each of six prestigious categories of the IHF Awards 2021 were announced at a special ceremony.
    • Deborah Bowen, FACHE, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Healthcare Executives Federation, began her role as President of the IHF at the Closing Ceremony. Ms Bowen is only the second woman to serve as President and will also be succeeded by a woman, as Dr Muna Tahlak (Dubai) was elected President Designate.
    • The WHC came to a close with esteemed guests from WHO, Catalonia and Dubai making keynote addresses.

The WHC is the premier event in the International Hospital Federation’s (IHF) calendar and the organizing partner and host for the 44th WHC was La Unió Catalana d’Hospitals (UCH).

The 45th World Hospital Congress will take place in Dubai (UAE) on 9–11 November 2022.

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