Highlights from the 44th IHF World Hospital Congress

24 November 2021

The first hybrid Congress of the International Hospital Federation (IHF), the 44th World Hospital Congress, held in Barcelona, Spain on 8-11 November was a success with over 1500 hospital and healthcare leaders and decision-makers from more than 70 countries and territories joining discussions on healthcare transformation. The event was organized by the IHF with La Unió Catalana d’Hospitals (Catalan Hospital, Health and Social Services Association – UCH).

The Congress was officially opened by M. Hble. Sr. Pere Aragonès, President of Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government), Hble. Dr. Josep M Argimon, Catalan Health Minister, and EXcma Sra. Ada Colau, Barcelona Mayor. Dr. Risto Miettunen, President of the IHF, Sr. Enric Mangas, President of UCH, and Dr. Jaume Duran, International Affairs Commissioner at the GC of UCH, welcomed all participants.

The Opening Ceremony was followed by a Scientific Opening led by Dr. Antoni Trilla, Chair of the 44th Congress Scientific Committee, with the participation of Víctor Grifols-Deu, co-CEO of Congress main partner GRIFOLS. Dr. Hans Kluge, Regional Director for Europe of the WHO, provided a keynote address to kick off the event.

More than 300 speakers shared their insights, expertise, and experiences across 70+ sessions and panel discussions. There were also more than 200 posters featured that showcased good practices and innovations from around the world.

In addition, 50 outstanding projects and programs were recognized during the IHF Awards ceremony. Saudi German Hospital Cairo from Egypt was named the Gold winner of the Dr. Kwang Tae Kim Grand Hospital Award for their project “Egyptian National Accreditation Modelling Reference”. You can view the full list of winners here.

Several industry providers showcased their cutting-edge products and services in the exhibition. And in person attendees also enjoyed opportunities to connect and interact again face-to-face with peers during the breaks and social events such as the Welcome Reception, After Work Social Dinner at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and Solidarity Concert at Palau de la Música Catalana.

Right after the congress, several attendees also joined the hospital visits to Hospital Universitari Vall d´Hebron, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.

The event closed with a keynote address from Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Deputy Director-General, and a panel discussion with Hble. Dr. Josep M Argimon, Catalan Health Minister, and H.E. Awadh Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, led by Deborah J. Bowen, President Designate of the IHF.

During the closing ceremony, Sr. Enric Mangas and Roser Fernández, President and CEO of UCH respectively, handed over the Congress to Dubai Health Authority, which will host the 45th edition next year with the theme “Global Learnings, Local Actions: Sustainable Healthcare”.

The 44th World Hospital Congress put a spotlight on some of the key issues impacting healthcare and health services across the globe and was recognized by delegates as an enjoyable, informative, and a valuable event to attend.

Being a hybrid event, virtual participants were able to watch the livestream of all sessions, view all the posters, explore the virtual exhibition, and interact with fellow attendees online.

Those registered can still watch recordings of all sessions until 3rd December by logging in to the event platform. Those who missed the Congress can still buy tickets to access on-demand recordings of all sessions, e-posters and virtual exhibition hall here.