Better Care for All, Every Time: A Call to Action

Fifty-eight health officials and representatives of leading health agencies from 33 countries signed a joint statement this week, “Better Care for All, Every Time: A Call to Action.” Resulting from a high-level global seminar held in Salzburg, Austria, the statement proposes seven recommendations that could drive a new approach to solving health challenges. The Salzburg Global Seminar and University Research Co., LLC (URC), which co-organized the meeting, now invite others to join by signing on to the statement online. 

The Salzburg Global Seminar “Making Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Economies” brought together global health leaders and practitioners who believe that a change in the health care paradigm is needed to help countries to address the critical gap between knowledge of interventions that improve population health and the care actually provided to patients. Quality Improvement (QI) is one approach that can be applied to rapidly improve health system performance and outcomes. QI is a proven, data driven method that places the responsibility and knowledge for rapid change in the hands of every patient, provider, manager and leader.

The “Better Care for Every Patient, Every Time: A Call to Action” recommendations call on:

  1. Governments to be accountable for the improvement of healthcare through legislation, policies and necessary resources
  2. Health policy leaders to adopt and promote quality improvement as a cornerstone of better health for all
  3. Communities to actively advocate for quality health care as part of their rights and responsibilities
  4. Development partners to invest in approaches that drive sustainable context-specific improvements in global health
  5. Non-governmental organizations and those providing technical assistance in global health to incorporate evidence-based improvement methods in their work
  6. Health care workers to continuously improve the delivery of expert and compassionate care to patients, their families and communities
  7. Patients to be empowered and at the forefront of promoting a shared vision for better health for all.

The full text of the statement is available on the Salzurg Global Seminar website. Watch a video summarizing the outcomes of the seminar by URC Senior Vice President Dr. M. Rashad Massoud below.


Sir Liam Donaldson, World Health Organization (WHO) Patient Safety Envoy, and Dr. Nils Daulaire, Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will chair a special session at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May to present the joint statement to Ministers of Health and health leaders from over 140 countries.

A small group of experts from URC, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the University of North Carolina, the WHO Patient Safety program, HEALTHQUAL International, Heidelberg University, and SGS organized the seminar.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, Salzburg Scholarships, URC, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Nippon Foundation, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the meeting.

Low and middle income countries have major health challenges: many countries are not on track to attain their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), noncommunicable diseases are emerging as the primary cause of mortality for the future, and little progress has been made in addressing unsafe care that harms millions each year. Despite significant improvements life expectancy and in some aspects of health care in the last two decades, daunting challenges remain to be solved.

The Salzburg Statement will be used to raise the improvement of health care higher on political agendas, to catalyze change, and to ensure that every patient receives the best possible care.

Participants of the Salzburg Global Seminar "How to Make Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Countries."
Participants of the Salzburg Global Seminar "How to Make Health Care Better in Low and Middle Income Countries."
May 08, 2012
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