The International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) is very pleased to announce a formal memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization (WHO).
A long-term association
Since the International Foundation for Integrated Care was instituted in Utrecht in October 2011, we have enjoyed a long-term association with WHO both at Headquarters and the WHO Regional Office for Europe in supporting their collective strategies to promote integrated care. The development of our Memorandum of Understanding with the WHO to advocate its work is the next step in this ongoing relationship, and one that sees the focus move from making the compelling case for change to understanding and supporting implementation.
Since October 2013, IFIC has acted as an expert partner to WHO Europe’s Framework for Action Towards Coordinated/Integrated Health Services Delivery and, most recently, have been included in their Primary Heath Care Advisory Group (PHCAG) supporting the development of a roadmap towards the development of a New Alma-Ata Declaration for the 40th Anniversary Conference to be held in Almaty on the 25-26 October 2018. IFIC has also supported WHO Europe in a number of educational activities to promote health system strengthening, for example in Kazakhstan in July 2015, and has been present at many of its focal point meetings with Member States. IFIC has also welcomed WHO Europe colleagues in its international study tour programmes, and at its conferences and events.
One of the most important international developments in recent times in the movement for change towards integrated care was the ratification by WHO Member States, in May 2016 at is General Assembly in Geneva, of the Framework on integrated people-centred health services. From 2013 onwards, IFIC were fully involved in advising on the process that led to this historic moment by supporting evidence reviews, providing advice, and helping to edit and contribute material to advanced drafts. The welcome speech made by the former WHO Director General, Margaret Chan, at IFIC’s 17th International Conference on Integrated Care in Barcelona that announced this important milestone was certainly a key highlight of IFIC’s activities to-date, as was the launch of the original Strategy two-years previously by Ed Kelley, Director of Services Delivery and Safety at WHO, at ICIC15 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
IFIC staff have also been involved in other WHO Regions. For example, IFIC’s CEO Nick Goodwin developed a scoping paper in 2015 for the WHO’s Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) to review existing methods for integrated service delivery in selected middle-income countries of the Western Pacific Region. In the same year, with Dr Lourdes Ferrer, Nick supported the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to examine recommendations for action to enable its 2014 “Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage”.
Given that the mission for the future of integrated care at IFIC is closely aligned with that of the WHO and its Regions, it is perhaps not a surprise to learn that no less than three of IFIC’s current staff members (Dr Viktoria Stein, Dr Lourdes Ferrer, and Maggie Langins) have all previously worked for the WHO. It is this sense of shared vision and values, and of collective sense of purpose, that has helped the WHO understand that they have a trusted partner in IFIC in developing the evidence and advocacy required that can promote more people-centred and integrated health services to the benefit of all.
Framework on integrated people-centred health services
In May 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the Framework on integrated people-centred health services to face the challenges that health systems must address in terms of lack of access to quality health services, fragmentation and lack of people-centeredness. Through WHA ResolutionWHA69.24 on “Strengthening integrated people-centred health services”, Member States requested WHO to provide them with technical support and guidance for the implementation, national adaptation and operationalization of the Framework as part of health system strengthening.
In line with the Framework and its supporting resolution, WHO and IFIC wish to collaborate in specific activities aimed at promoting and supporting the global implementation of integrated people-centred care by encouraging discussion and knowledge exchange among international community of policy makers, practitioners, and researchers; by generating experience and evidence around people-centred and integrated models of care; and by fostering engagements across Regions and Members States according to WHO priorities.
Building on the past and current efforts of collaboration between WHO and IFIC, the new relationship offers potential to contribute to WHO’s agenda on reorienting health systems, putting informed individuals, families, carers and communities at their centre, supported by responsive services that better meet their needs and that are coordinated both within and beyond health sector, irrespective of country setting or development status.
Working together to achieve real people-centred, integrated care
Where possible and appropriate, WHO and IFIC will collaborate on the following activities:
1. Collaboration in the development and nurturing of the “Integratedcare4people” web platform that supports the implementation of the Framework. This web platform is conceived as a global network that promotes information exchange and interaction among policy makers, programme managers, implementing organizations and practitioners to foster the dissemination of practices, lessons learnt and tools. It aims at contributing to health systems’ transformation towards the provision of integrated and people-centred care by promoting the translation of knowledge into action. It is made up of three main components: resources, practices and communities. WHO contributes to content of the web platform hosted by the School of Public Health of Andalucía (EASP). The International Health sector of EASP serves currently also as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Integrated Health services based on Primary Care.
Drawing from its experience in the realm of integrated care, IFIC will contribute with content (practices and resources) to the web platform according to the criteria established by the web’s Editorial Committee constituted by WHO And EASP.
As part of the collaboration, IFIC will contribute to facilitate the exchange and generation of knowledge through the moderation of “communities” or discussion for a among key stakeholders in areas of special interest related to the Framework according to WHO guidance.
“Communities” may be used as a vehicle to hold discussions and share information in relation to key topics relevant to integrated and people-centred care
2. IFIC will support WHO efforts in promoting and developing engagements that can help collaborate on advocacy and dialogue to promote the implementation of the Framework.
3. IFIC will support WHO efforts in implementing models of care based on people-centred, integrated care and population health approaches, expanding the boundaries of current knowledge and adding value to the current evidence base in line with the Framework
Dr Hernan Montenegro, Coordinator Services Organization and Clinical Interventions at the WHO said “The World Health Organization is extremely proud to have partnered with the International Foundation for Integrated Care to further advance the implementation of the WHO Framework on integrated people-centred health services. Health services from around the world are at a breaking point and doing business as usual is no longer an option. The Framework calls for a fundamental shift in the way health services are funded, managed and delivered to ensure equitable access to quality health services centred on the comprehensive needs of people and communities and provided in an integrated fashion. It also calls for engaging and empowering people and communities at large to have a more active role in their own health. Partnering with prestigious and resourceful institutions such as the International Foundation for Integrated Care will help us make this much needed transformation a reality for all people and countries from around the world.”
Dr Nick Goodwin, CEO of IFIC speaking about the agreement said “The adoption by the WHO’s General Assembly in May 2016 of the Global Framework on Integrated People-Centred Health Services was a landmark moment for the integrated care movement. It provided a compelling vision for a future in which putting people more in control of their health, supported by better care co-ordination around their holistic needs, is necessary for enabling safe and sustainable services across all care systems, whether high or low income, mature or fragile. Through our signed memorandum of understanding, the International Foundation for Integrated Care looks forward to continuing its efforts in supporting the WHO in advocating for, and supporting the adoption of, the Global Framework”
For more information on the Framework visit http://www.who.int/servicedeliverysafety/areas/people-centred-care/en/
About the World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority on international health work, and responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In this regard, the Department of Service Deliver and safety (SDS), as a “centre of excellence” within WHO, works externally and across the Organization to build evidence and promote models and solutions for improved health service delivery. SDS works across the care continuum, from preventive and primary care to hospital services and long-term care, to palliative care.
Resources from IFIC conferences
Presentation: Preventing and managing chronic disease: engaging and empowering people presented by Nuria Toro, Technical Officer on Integrated people-centred health services, World Health Organization (WHO) at the 17th International Conference on Integrated Care, Dublin, Ireland 8-10 May 2017 https://vimeo.com/242775075
Presentation: Dr Hernan Montenegro, Coordinator, Services Organization and Clinical Interventions Unit, Service Delivery and Safety Department at the World Health Organization presenting “WHO efforts in measuring people and community engagement in healthcare” at the 4th World Congress on Integrated Care in Wellington, New Zealand, November 2016 https://vimeo.com/200190366
Opening address: Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) providing an Opening Address on “Supporting all countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage and implement people-centred, integrated health services” at the 16th International Conference on Integrated Care, Barcelona, Spain 23-25 May 2016 https://vimeo.com/168857131
Presentation: Dr Ed Kelley, Director Service Delivery and Safety, WHO launches the WHO global strategy on people-centred and integrated health services interim report at 15th International Conference on Integrated Care, Edinburgh March 2015 https://vimeo.com/125886418
Interview: Dr Ed Kelley, Director, Service Delivery and Safety from the World Health Organization (WHO) describes the WHO Global Strategy on People-centred and Integrated Health Services (PCIHS) at 15th International Conference on Integrated Care, Edinburgh March 2015 https://vimeo.com/125148352
Presentation: Dr Hernan Montenegro, Health Systems Adviser, World Health Organisation “The WHO Strategy on People-Centred Integrated Health Services” at the 2nd World Congress on Integrated Care, in Sydney Australia 23-25 November 2014 https://vimeo.com/127579518
Interview: Dr Hernan Montenegro, Health Systems Adviser at the World Health speaking about the WHO Strategy on People-Centred and Integrated Health Services (PCIHS) at the 2nd World Congress on Integrated Care in Sydney Australia 23-25 November 2014 https://vimeo.com/118801168
Interview: Dr Ed Kelley, Co-ordinator and Head of Strategic Programmes, WHO Patient Safety, Geneva talks about the role of the WHO is supporting the exchange of knowledge and best practice in improving health systems and health outcomes at the 14th International Conference on Integrated Care in Brussels, 2-4 April 2014 https://vimeo.com/97368331