Geneva, Switzerland, 26 May 2016, – A series of meetings held by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in advance of the World Health Assembly highlighted the need for governments to invest in nursing and midwifery in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
81 representatives of ICN’s national nursing association (NNA) members from 47 different countries met 18-19 May to discuss strengthening NNAs and policy influence as well as addressing the contribution of the nursing and midwifery workforce to the global health mandates of UHC and the SDGs.
Dr. Jim Campbell Executive Director, Global Health Workforce Alliance, (GHWA) and Director of the Health Workforce Department, at the World Health Organization (HWF/WHO), spoke about the importance of the UN High level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Participants then took part in a World Café consultation on the UN Commission.
Participants were also briefed on the WHO Strategic Orientations for Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery, which was launched on 18 May at a joint WHO-ICN event. Discussions were held as to how NNAs can advocate for, influence and support implementation. Other topics discussed at the NNA meeting included emerging issues and how to grow NNA’s influence.
Credentialing and Regulators Forum
Also on 18-19 May, 63 participants from 28 countries attended the ICN’s Credentialing and Regulators Forum, co-hosted by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), to discuss key topics including evidence based regulation and credentialing; how regulation can advance the professions and protect the public; continuing professional development; and addressing the future of the nursing and midwifery workforce in light of the global health mandates.
ICN-ICM-WHO Triad meeting
On 20-21 May, ICN and ICM co-hosted the sixth Triad meeting, along with the WHO. The purpose of the Triad meeting is to address issues of common interest and concern resulting in sharing of ideas and experiences and collaborative actions nationally, regionally and internationally. The main theme for the 2016 Triad was the future of the nursing and midwifery workforce and the dialogue took into account relevant global mandates such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and global commitments toward attaining Universal Health Coverage. The keynote speaker for the event was Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al Hussein of Jordan, WHO Patron of Nursing and Midwifery in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. A Communiqué released at the end of the meeting can be accessed here.
World Health Professions Conference on Regulation
The series of meetings ended with the World Health Professions Conference on Regulation which took place 21-22 May. This conference was hosted by the World Health Professions Alliance, of which ICN is a founding member. It concentrated on three main themes:
- Balancing regulation of individual health professionals and of health services
- Health professional regulation and trade agreements: Protecting the public versus facilitating commerce
- The Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030 and WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 – implications for Health Regulation
Many nurses attending these meetings will also participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA), the supreme decision-making body of WHO. ICN encourages and supports nurses to attend the WHA as part of their country’s delegation, or as part of ICN’s delegation, in order to ensure that nurses, the largest health profession in the world, have a voice in high-level decision making and policy development.
More information on these meetings can be found on: http://www.icn.ch/events/icn-meetings-a-events/
Note for Editors
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.