National Patient Advocacy Network Founding Meeting, November 12, 2014, New Delhi, India

On November 12, 2014, in New Delhi, India, approximately 15 patient-related organizations assembled to discuss the formation of a patient group alliance. The outcome from this initial meeting was the identification of a vision, mission, objectives and next steps to move forward together.

The vision agreed up is “universal access to safe and quality healthcare with dignity.”

The mission is “to promote and facilitate patient engagement with healthcare providers and policy makers.”

The objectives are:

  • Unite to speak with one voice – form an alliance/coalition.  Use unified strength to move forward together.
  • Identify health policy opportunities to insert the patient voice – in State Program Implementation Plans (PIPs) (formed over the next three months)
  • Share best practices among one another to support advocacy related work in individual groups – potentially through a patient forum
  • Identify more specific issues to be addressed by government, for example:
    • Development and adoption of clinical guidelines to standardize care and processes across India (public and private facilities) – work to provide accountability
    • Better regulation of medical education – uniformity and enforcement of quality teaching standards, especially as it relates to the patient-physician relationship/communications
  • Address the need for individual patient/disease advocacy organizations to provide more information to their consumers – informed consumers are better able to manage their conditions

Participants in this meeting will seek out opportunities to insert the patient voice in upcoming health policy discussions. To this end, participants were invited to attend an advocacy meeting on December 9th, following World Patient Solidarity Day.

This founding meeting marks an excellent start toward advocating for patient-centred care in India. The key will be to continue to build on this momentum and to seek the participation of many more individuals and patient organizations to strengthen the patient voice that calls on safe and quality healthcare for the people of India.