HQSS Chair presents keynote address at Quality, Equity and Dignity event

February 14th, 2017 | Quality, Equity, Dignity event, UN Every Woman Every Child | Lilongwe, Malawi

Dr. Margaret Kruk, chair of the HQSS Commission, presented a keynote address at Quality, Equity, Dignity, a three day meeting hosted by the Ministry of Health of Malawi for the UN Every Woman Every Child movement.

The Quality, Equity, Dignity meeting convened over 350 stakeholders in government, private organizations and academia to generate support and commitment to implement the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy. The strategy aims to operationalize a common vision for quality care for mothers and newborns throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal periods. In operationalizing this quality goal, nine committed countries – Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda – aim to halve stillbirths and maternal and newborn deaths over five years.

Dr. Kruk’s address highlighted four key observations about quality, challenging meeting attendees to reset the quality agenda:

  1. Quality is for people. High quality health care is a basic promise from the health system to its users. Focusing on people means we organize care to maximize health and ensure that people feel heard and respected while receiving care.
  2. Quality care is the core mission of health systems. What is the purpose of a hospital or a health facility without quality care? Quality care is not a specialized pursuit for select conditions or select countries. It is fundamental to health systems and the provision of care.
  3. Measure quality by what matters. Simply counting inventory is not a sufficient nor accurate, indicator of quality. Health is a service industry, and it is due time for us to consider customer opinion.
  4. It is time to challenge basic assumptions. Quality improvement is not a new enterprise, and we are long overdue for a quality reset. For example, does results-based financing lift the performance of a health system, or temporarily increase the incentivized interventions? New thinking for structural change and service delivery is needed.