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ICN: Health Systems Must Be Strengthened in Order to Protect Healthcare Workers - Psychologically and Physically
Date Posted: 29/Apr/2016
Press Information . Communiqué de presse . Comunicado de prensa
Dr Frances Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), recently presented at the Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development toward the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit in Tokyo, Japan on the importance of protecting health care workers.
“It is essential that global parliamentarians work hand in hand with nurses and other healthcare workers to ensure effective policymaking and implementation,” said Dr Hughes. “There is a real need to build resilience within the healthcare workforce in order to, in turn, build strong and resilient health systems to ensure the success of the SDGs and to meet the health challenges of the future.”
Dr Hughes emphasized that healthcare workers already face multiple threats - biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic and psychological - on a daily basis. Governments must ensure that those working in conflict zones, in disaster areas or with infectious diseases, such as Ebola, have the protection they need to care for others.
“Many of the Parliamentarians at the Conference were unaware of what is happening with nurses in their country,” explained Dr Hughes. “It is clear we need to ensure we build stronger relationships and promote communication between the national nursing associations and their governments.”
ICN is a partner in the International Committee of the Red Cross’ "Health Care in Danger" project, which aims to make access to health care in situations of armed violence more secure.
It is also a founding member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition which promotes respect for international humanitarian and human rights laws that relate to the safety and security of health facilities, health workers, ambulances and patients ensuring they are safe and secure during periods of armed conflict or civil violence.
The Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development toward the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit was co-organized by The Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) in cooperation with other regional parliamentarians’ fora and partners to raise three issues: 
(1) gender equality and women’s empowerment; 
(2) investing in youth; and 
(3) building active aging societies. 
In addition, the GCPPD2016 discussed measures to combat infectious diseases and establish effective risk management systems, proposing that introducing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) throughout the world is a key instrument to tackle these challenges. In so doing, the GCPPD2016 aimed to clarify the role of parliamentarians to strengthen global partnership, thereby soliciting high-level commitments and encouraging political action by global parliamentarians.
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.
For further information contact Lindsey Williamson at: [email protected]
Tel: +41 22 908 0100; Fax: +41 22 908 0101
ICN/PR2016 #16
Geneva, Switzerland, 28 April 2016

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