A report on nursing and midwifery produced for the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) received a special appreciation from the Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The report highlighted the changing attitude towards nursing and the need to respond to the public perception in a way that fills the many gaps in the global nursing workforce. Nursing is one of the nine topics that will be discussed during the WISH 2018 summit, taking place from 13-14 November at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

Dr Ghebreyesus, in the foreword of the WISH report, said that nurses and midwives are at the heart of the Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The nurses and midwives are not only essential for delivering health services, their experience and knowledge are also valuable assets in shaping health policy, and their voices deserve to be heard at the policymaking table.’

He also said that we must capitalise on the insights (in this report) to strengthen nursing and midwifery around the world.

Equally Valuable Members of the Healthcare Team

The research conducted for the WISH 2018 report titled ‘Nursing and Midwifery; The Key to the Rapid and Cost-Effective Expansion of High-Quality Universal Health Coverage’ revealed that those surveyed were open to an increase in nurse-led services.

More than two-thirds of respondents said it did not matter whether a doctor or a nurse treats them for non-life-threatening conditions, as long as they had the appropriate standards of education, training, skills and experience. More than 80% saw nurses and doctors as equally valuable members of the healthcare team.

The survey asked 6,500 people in seven different countries to obtain a global perspective on nursing. These countries include Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, India, and Denmark. The results suggest that there would be widespread public support for nurses making an even greater contribution to healthcare in the future. The WISH report also proposes an action plan to maximise this contribution, which is drafted based on what are identified as the current barriers to progress.

Nursing and UHC Forum

The WISH 2018 Nursing and UHC Forum will be chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of the three-year global Nursing Now campaign, which aims to promote the vital role of nurses in healthcare and of nursing as a profession. He is also co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health within the UK Parliament’s House of Lords.

According to Lord Nigel Crisp, investment is needed in nursing and midwifery, as well as effective legislation, regulation, education, and employment practices.

There also needs to be a fundamental shift in policy at a global level to recognise what nurses and midwives can achieve if enabled to do so. We look forward to discussing the policy recommendations in our report, at the upcoming summit in Doha.’

Earlier this year, WISH, in partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation, launched the Nursing Now Qatar campaign during the Middle East Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare held in Doha.

As part of its commitment to empower nurses in Qatar, WISH will support a ‘Nursing Now’ leadership training programme for Qatari nurses, to be delivered during the Doha Healthcare Week, which will be held in the lead-up to the WISH 2018 summit. The summit will include panel discussions on nursing, host chief nursing officers from around the world, and also hold the global board meeting of ‘Nursing Now’ on its sidelines.

For more information about WISH, visit wish-qatar.org and follow @WISHQatar on Twitter.