A series of recent meetings, held by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in advance of the World Health Assembly highlighted the need for governments to invest in nursing and midwifery in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ICN, of which the INMO is a member, 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.
81 representatives of ICN’s National Nursing Association (NNA) members from 47 different countries met to discuss strengthening NNAs and policy influence as well as addressing the contribution of the nursing and midwifery workforce to the global health mandates of UHC and the SDGs. They also discussed the importance of the UN High level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth.
Nursing Regulators from 28 countries attended the ICN’s Credentialing and Regulators Forum, co-hosted by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), to discuss key topics including evidence based regulation and credentialing; how regulation can advance the professions and protect the public; continuing professional development; and addressing the future of the nursing and midwifery workforce in light of the global health mandates.
Elizabeth Adams, INMO Director of Professional Development was an invited speaker and presented to the global regulators on the comprehensive services provided by the INMO to support nurses and midwives maintain their continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning. She stated that, “fundamental to ensuring quality and safe care for every patient, there is a responsibility on the regulator and the employer to ensure nurses and midwives are provided with the opportunity and resources, such as study leave and funding to maintain their CPD and lifelong learning”.
The ICN and ICM also co-hosted the sixth Triad meeting the purpose of which was to address issues of common interest and concern resulting in sharing of ideas and experiences and collaborative actions nationally, regionally and internationally. The main theme, for the 2016, Triad was the future of the nursing and midwifery workforce and the dialogue took into account relevant global mandates such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 and global commitments toward attaining Universal Health Coverage. The keynote speaker for the event was Her Royal Highness Princess Muna al Hussein of Jordan, WHO Patron of Nursing and Midwifery in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The series of meetings ended with the World Health Professions Conference on Regulation. This conference was hosted by the World Health Professions Alliance. It concentrated on three main themes:
1. Balancing regulation of individual health professionals and of health services
2. Health professional regulation and trade agreements, such as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Protecting the public versus facilitating commerce
3. The Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030 and WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 – implications for Health Regulation
Liam Doran, INMO General Secretary, speaking in relation to TTIP said, “Our attitude is in line with that of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in that we are strongly opposed to the inclusion in TTIP – or indeed any trade agreement - of the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and want to see our government send a clear and unequivocal message that it should be removed. This proposal is an affront to democracy insofar as it allows investors to sue governments in secret courts composed of corporate lawyers, at which other people have not representation, for compensation over national laws or rules that affect their activities. The fact is that health and education services are already spread between public and private providers – often on a competitive basis. The risk is that TTIP could lock in existing arrangements and leave states and public service providers open to legal challenge via private tribunals.”