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World Patient Safety Day 2023- September 17

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World Patient Safety Day - September 17 2023World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Patient Safety Day is annually observed worldwide on 17 September to spread worldwide awareness about patient safety and promote actions to improve the safety of healthcare practices across the world.

  • The theme of WPSD 2023 observed on 17th September 2023 is “Engaging patients for patient safety“.
  • The slogan of WPSD 2023 is “Elevate the voice of patients!”.

The 2023 theme emphasises the pivotal role patients, families, and caregivers play in ensuring the safety of healthcare practices.


i.World Patient Safety Day was established in May 2019 by the 72nd World Health Assembly (WHA) through the adoption of resolution WHA72.6, “Global action on patient safety”.

ii.The resolution recognizes patient safety as a global health priority and endorses the establishment of World Patient Safety Day to be observed annually on 17 September.

iii.The first WPSD was observed on 17 September 2019.

Note: The 3rd WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, was launched in 2017 as a multiyear initiative with the goal of reducing severe, avoidable medication-related harm globally by 50% over a period of 5 years


The primary objectives of the World Patient Safety Plan are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by Member States to enhance Patient Safety, and reduce patient harm.

WHO’s Flagship Initiative:

i.WHO established a flagship initiative entitled  “A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030” in February 2020. This is in line with United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ii.A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030, the Patient Safety Flagship is a  transformative initiative to address the global call and to guide and support strategic action on patient safety at the global, regional, and national levels.

iii.Its core work involves supporting the implementation of the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030.

Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030:

i.The 74th WHA in 2021 approved the decision WHA74.13 to adopt the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030 with a vision of “a world in which no one is harmed in health care, and every patient receives safe and respectful care, every time, everywhere”.

ii.It provides a framework for countries to develop their respective national action plans on patient safety, as well as to align existing strategic instruments for improving patient safety in all clinical and health-related programmes.

iii.The goal is “to achieve the maximum possible reduction in avoidable harm due to unsafe health care globally”.


i.WPSD is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine, “first do no harm”.

ii.Patient safety is defined as “the absence of preventable harm to a patient and reduction of risk of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum.”

Key Facts:

According to the WHO’s facts on patient safety,

  • Around 1 in every 10 patients is harmed in health care and more than 3 million deaths occur annually due to unsafe care.
  • In Low-to-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), as many as 4 in 100 people die from unsafe care.
  • Above 50% of harm (1 in every 20 patients) is preventable; half of this harm is attributed to medications.
  • Patient harm potentially reduces global economic growth by 0.7% a year. On a global scale, the indirect cost of harm amounts to trillions of USD each year.

2023 Events:

As a part of the observance of WPSD 2023, WHO organised a Global Conference entitled “Engaging Patients for Patient Safety” in Geneva, Switzerland on 12 and 13 September 2023 to promote collaboration, identify best practices, and pave the way for their widespread implementation across various healthcare settings.

NATHEALTH & NABH Signed MoU to Enhance Patient Safety and quality Healthcare across India

On the occasion of WPSD 2023, NATHEALTH, Healthcare Federation of India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH), to promote and enhance patient safety and improve healthcare quality.

  • This collaboration represents a significant step to ensure patient safety and improve the quality of healthcare services across India.

Note: NABH, a constituent Board of the Quality Council of India (QCI), is an autonomous body under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry(MCI).


i.The partnership aims to promote patient safety, enhance the quality of healthcare services, and drive positive changes in the healthcare ecosystem.

ii.NATHEALTH and NABH by collaborating with their expertise and resources, aim to drive positive changes that have a lasting impact on the healthcare sector.

About the Collaboration:

Under this partnership, NABH and NATHEALTH will collaborate on various initiatives, including:

  • Joint initiatives to enhance patient safety and quality healthcare practices.
  • Jointly develop a white paper/ awareness module on patient safety outlining the best practices around consumer safety measures and conduct a series of expert sessions to disseminate this across healthcare caregivers and the broader health system.
  • Jointly curated case studies, expert testimonials, and scientific materials and raise awareness around patient safety in healthcare through patient-facing communication campaigns.
  • Advocacy for policies and measures that support and enhance patient-centric care.
  • Institutionalise an annual patient experience award and recognise the best practices in patient safety across both public and private sectors.

Key Points:

Medical errors are a global concern, causing a substantial loss of lives each year. In India, these errors contribute to approximately 122 deaths per 100,000 people, highlighting the urgent need for improved care quality and safety measures.