Hospitals embody our sense of humanity and our compassion for those who are suffering. If we are to care for patients we need to ensure that hospitals are safe. Unfortunately, this is often not the case in contemporary conflicts and emergencies. We at the International Hospital Federation (IHF) became involved in the Health Care in Danger initiative because we believe that by working together we can ensure better, safer delivery of health care. This approach will also help our members handle the threats they face to keeping their hospitals operational and continue providing proper care for their patients.
The 32nd International Conference – an opportunity to make the delivery of health care safer
The IHF was impressed by the participants’ dedication – whether they represented governments or the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The discussions reflected a deep commitment to the core values of the Geneva Conventions, although many attendees, myself included, were disappointed by the lack of consensus to support the ICRC draft resolution on strengthening compliance with international humanitarian law. However, these discussions are ongoing and the resolution adopted sends a clear message to civil society: we need to mobilize and play a stronger role at both the global and national level to urge governments to abide fully by international humanitarian law and to investigate and punish any breaches. This call for mobilization and cooperation is also strongly present in Resolution 4 on protecting the delivery of health care. Making a pledge to support the Health Care in Danger initiative is an opportunity for the IHF to respond to those calls and mobilize our members on two major issues:
1. increasing the resilience of hospitals;
2. ensuring hospitals are safe havens.
Source : ICRC (Dr Eric de Roodenbeke)