Patient safety

Medication without harm - the journey begins

The Global Launch of the next Global Patient Safety Challenge on “Medication without harm” will take place in Bonn, Germany, on 29 March 2017. WHO’s goal for this Global Patient Safety Challenge is to achieve widespread engagement and commitment from WHO Member States and professional bodies around the world to reduce the harm associated with medication. This global launch seeks to raise awareness and encourage commitment from leaders and policy-makers around the world on this important issue.

Patient Safety first

Following the first Global Patient Safety Action Summit in London in March 2016, a Second Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety will be held on 29-30 March 2017 in Bonn, Germany. The Summit represents a unique opportunity to highlight patient safety as a global priority. On 29 March, experts will gather to deliberate key topics in six workshops to gain consensus and synthesize key information for reporting back to the Ministers of Health from participating countries. Two of these workshops will coordinated by WHO – “Global Patient Safety: Perspectives from low- and middle-income countries” and the “Global launch of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety”. The Ministerial Summit will be held on 30 March 2017.

Workshop: Perspectives from low- and middle-income countries

Many governments are faced with tightening budget constraints and increasing pressure to improve health system performance. Spreading insightful and evidenced-based practices and processes around the globe is one of the most efficient ways to designing safer health systems. This workshop, which will take place at the Second Global Patient Safety Ministerial Summit on 29 March in Bonn, Germany, will focus upon low- and middle-income country perspectives on patient safety, and how to implement effective safety strategies despite major constraints and limited resources.

WHO Technical Series on Safer Primary Care

14 December 2016 - WHO launched a Technical Series on Safer Primary Care, presented as a set of nine key learning monographs which summarize the evidence and experience of different strategies for improving patient safety in primary care. A webinar on Safer Primary Care to introduce and launch the technical series was held on 16 December. The technical series addresses selected priority areas which countries can prioritize according to local needs. It is our hope that this technical series will make a valuable and timely contribution to the planning and delivery of safer primary care services in all WHO Member States.

fact buffet


1 in 10As many as 1 in 10 patients are harmed whilst receiving health care

Evidence of unsafe care


43 millionApproximately 43 million patient safety incidences occur every year

BMJ article: The global burden of unsafe medical care


$42 billion Medication errors cost an estimated 42 billion USD annually

WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety

Patient Safety

WHO Patient Safety endevours to prevent harm to patients during the process of health care itself