The first thematic discussion 'Enhancing the quality of health services across levels of the health system' is just around the corner - We hope you are as excited as we are.
Quality of health services is critical to achieving universal health coverage. Between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths are attributed to poor quality care each year in low- and middle-income countries, accounting for up to 15% of overall deaths in these countries. Improving access to health services must go hand-in-hand with improving the quality of these services. Further, poor quality health services can decrease people's trust in the health system.
During the introductory 2-week discussion we will be exploring two fundamental questions. First, what does quality of care mean to you, in your particular context? Second, why is it important to make the case for quality of care? Our initial thoughts will take us into the next phase of the discussion to explore actions required at each level of the system.
This further exploration will be based on the WHO Quality Health Services: a planning guide
that is designed to support key actions at the national, district and facility levels to enhance quality of health services. It highlights the need for a systems approach to enhancing quality of care, and for a common understanding of the essential activities at each level and among all stakeholders.
HIFA profile: Oriane Bodson is a Technical Officer, Quality of Care at the World Health Organization, Geneva. She is a member of the HIFA-WHO Working group on Learning for Quality Health Services.