International Hospital Federation

Member profile

The International Hospital Federation (IHF), successor to the International Hospital Association, established in 1929 and revived in 1947 under its new title, is the global association of healthcare organizations, which includes in particular, but not exclusively, hospital associations and representative bodies as well as their members and other health care related organizations. The character of the IHF is that of an independent, not for profit, non-governmental organization. The Secretariat which since 1947 was based in London, moved in November 2002 to Ferney Voltaire, France (Greater Geneva Area); and in September 2011 to Bernex (Canton de Geneve), Switzerland.

Main activities

The mission of the International Hospital Federation consists in:

  • contributing to better health for all people around the world through the advancement of appropriate and properly-managed healthcare organizations and facilities;
  • contributing to enhancing the performance of health care organizations by supporting initiatives to improve their responsiveness, efficiency, effectiveness, equitable access and quality of care;
  • contributing to the development of effective healthcare management;
  • offering a platform for free exchange of ideas, expertise and information among the global community of healthcare organizations and management professionals;
  • supporting activities leading to a better recognition of the role and functions of health care organizations in general, and hospitals in particular;
  • taking positions on global issues affecting health care facilities operations; practices and policies;
  • acting as the global representative of its Members in the dialogue with other global organizations.

The vision of the IHF of world of healthy communities served by well managed hospitals and health services where all individuals reach their highest potential for health, is promoted through events, publications, networking and projects in line with its the mission and values of the IHF.

In addition to publications, events and projects IHF offers other types of services to members such as acting as a bridge between members in order to facilitate and support cross-fertilization of knowledge and experience in strategy, management and leadership of health organizations, and policy development. Through networking the International Hospital Federation supports the creation of new national hospital associations thereby ensuring involvement of an increased number of countries in its activities and an expansion of its membership community.

Links to the health workforce crisis

Hospitals are the first employers in the health sector. For this reason, IHF considers the health workforce crisis as one of the major issue. That is why it is involved in several projects to give a voice to hospitals and health services in international discussion. In official relation with the World Health Organization, IHF is involved in the WHO program to increase access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. IHF is also following the WHO discussions about code of practice for ethical recruitment of health workers. Furthermore, IHF is participating in a global study about trends of migration of health professionals from, to and through European countries.