Healthcare is a human right


On Saturday 5 December, patients from across the world will join together to celebrate Patient Solidarity Day and declare that healthcare is a human right.

Leading patients’ groups from six continents will host a range of events to raise awareness among the public and will urge decision-makers to respect, protect and fulfil patients’ rights at every level of care. Events will include marches, free health screenings and meetings with ministers to change perspectives around health and improve the lives of patients.

A call to action


The World Health Organization states that every person has ‘the right to the highest attainable standard of health’. This is not always put into practice. Many patients are unaware of their right to the healthcare they need, and many healthcare providers – from governments to frontline care – fail to fulfil their duty of providing adequate care.

It is time for patients and providers to recognise that healthcare is a human right. This right is protected by the International Human Rights Framework, a body of international law that outlines and upholds the basic rights of every person. This Patient Solidarity Day, patients will stand up for the healthcare they require and remind healthcare providers of their responsibilities at every level.

Kawaldip Sehmi, CEO of IAPO, said:

‘All of us should have access to the healthcare we need: good quality, affordable care without fear of discrimination. Healthcare is a human right for all. We call on individuals, organizations and institutions to ensure that health systems are designed and services delivered to meet the needs of patients.’

Patient Solidarity Day was created by the Morris Moses Foundation in 2011 and has steadily grown since. Last year’s event, coordinated by IAPO, marked the first year as a global campaign and saw 80 organizations from 32 countries take part. This year’s theme continues the legacy of previous years by raising awareness around the rights of patients and placing them at the centre of healthcare.


Guest post from the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO)

Find background information, photos, ideas for activities, free resources and much more about Patient Solidarity Day at