IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched an initiative to strengthen health systems by encouraging providers, payors, and investors to adopt a set of 10 ethical principles that can help guide decision-making and improve access to quality, affordable care for all.
The initiative, known as EPiHC (Ethical Principles in Health Care), was developed in collaboration with the World Bank and supports the World Bank Group’s commitment to universal health coverage. The principles laid out by EPiHC cover the primary issues that health care organizations need to address to build transparent, resilient systems that meet the highest ethical principles in global health care delivery.
At a time when governments are strained due to the COVID-19 crisis, and health care workers are on the front lines of providing critical care, ethical principles are important for promoting and protecting quality care. EPiHC offers private providers a roadmap for helping them meet and sustain this goal through guidance in a range of areas, such as upholding patients’ rights, safeguarding information and using data responsibly, and protecting and empowering staff.
“Access to high-quality, affordable health care is now more important than ever,” said Philippe Le Houérou, the Chief Executive Officer of IFC. “The Ethical Principles in Health Care provide a pragmatic guide that can help the private sector sharpen decision making processes, promote best practices for ethical and responsible conduct, and ultimately contribute to stronger health systems.”
EPiHC is designed to be relevant to all sizes of organizations, business models, and geographies. It guides ethical practice and decision-making, rather than creating specific laws or prescriptive performance standards. Signatories are encouraged to publicly adopt, support, and reference EPiHC in their work, as well as to monitor EPiHC usage and exchange good practices in their application.
Already, some two dozen private sector health care providers, payors, and investors have signed on to EPiHC, representing a range of providers and health companies around the world that share a commitment to high-quality health care. For some organizations, becoming an EPiHC signatory represents a first step toward codifying such principles. For others, EPiHC complements existing corporate codes and statements.
We invite health organizations to learn more about EPiHC by visiting our website https://www.epihc.org/.