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World Patient Safety Day (WPSD)

World Patient Safety Day (WPSD)


Tuesday 17th September 2019 will mark the first annual global campaign, World Patient Safety Day. This day is to create awareness of patient safety. It is also to urge people to show their commitment to making healthcare safer. WHO, World Health Organisation, announced in May of this year that they will launch this campaign.

Why World Patient Safety Day was launched?

The number of patients either injured, disabled or killed while accessing unsafe healthcare has become an issue of great concern globally. The incidence of patient harm has become a global public health problem.
Every second of every day, someone in the world suffers avoidable harm due to receiving unsafe care or have the risk of being harmed while receiving health care, as a result of this, there is a danger that unsafe healthcare will undermine global efforts in setting up Universal Health Coverage. At the 72nd World Health Assembly, held in May in Geneva, Switzerland, one patient advocate stated:

“In my country, people are afraid to go to hospitals as they think they will come out in a coffin or with a severe disability”.

If the community does not trust their local healthcare, hospitals and healthcare services stand the risk of being empty and patients with treatable illnesses or injuries run the risk of no treatment.
According to WHO:
  • 4 out of 10  – Patients are harmed in primary and ambulatory are settings
  • 134 million  – Adverse events occur each year in hospitals, this is contributing to 2.6 million deaths due to unsafe care
  • 42 billion  – Medication errors cost an estimated 42 billion annually

Outcome of Campaign

There are three areas in which this campaign hopes to deliver:

  1. Leadership – To prioritise patient safety, promote patient safety culture and engage patients and families.
  2. Education and Training – To build competent, skilled and compassionate health workforce through inter-professional education and training in patient safety.
  3. Research – To enhance research capacities and evidence-based policy processes in patient safety.

What can you do?

Everybody has a role in knowledge sharing, promotion of patient safety core principles and values, and advocating for the development and implementation of impactful policies and strategies aimed at improvement of patient safety globally. Please see link to WHO Briefing note here for more information.


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