The International Hospital Federation announces changes in board composition

The International Hospital Federation (IHF) announces the changes in the board composition after the 41st World Hospital Congress held in Taipei

Online PR News – 06-December-2017 – Geneva, Switzerland – The International Hospital Federation (IHF) announces the changes in the board composition after the 41st World Hospital Congress held in Taipei.

The World Hospital Congress is taken as an opportunity by the IHF to gather its board members around two governing council meetings and one General Assembly.

The World Hospital Congress was marked by the appointment of Dr Francisco Balestrin as the new president of the IHF during the General Assembly held on Wednesday, November 8th. He replaces, for a two-year mandate, Dr Erik Normann who has become the immediate past-president. The IHF named Dr Risto Miettunen as IHF President Designate, who should also become the president of the Federation during the 43rd World Hospital Congress that will take place in Oman in 2019.

Dr Balestrin is President of ANAHP – Brazilian National Association of Private Hospitals and Executive Vice President and Corporate Chief Medical Officer of the VITA’s Hospital Group. He graduated in Medicine and has finished medical residency in Health Administration in Hospital das Clínicas of the Medical School of the University of São Paulo (USP). Dr Balestrin holds a title of Specialist in Health Administration by the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB).

President’s address at the General Assembly of the IHF, Wednesday, November 8th

“Members of the General Assembly of the International Hospital Federation, Mr. Eric de Roodenbeke, CEO of the IHF, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is an honor for myself and for my country to take office as the IHF President for the next two years. It is even more special for me to have that happen in the beautiful city of Taipei. We are almost at the opposite side of the world from Brazil here in Taiwan, and even though I am very far from where I live, the warm reception from our hosts has made me feel at home.

So, thank you to Dr. Wen-Neng Ueng and Prof. Han-Chuang Yang for the welcome. More than our thanks, however, Drs. Yang and Ueng deserve our congratulations. The Taiwan Hospital Association has organized an outstanding World Hospital Congress, one that, I’m sure, will serve as a model for many future events.

This institution exists and flourishes because of the commitment of its members to the cause of building better hospitals and better health worldwide. So, before we go any further, I would like all of us to give a round of applause to Dr. Kwang Tae Kim, for his service and dedication to the IHF these past years.

I would also ask that we applaud Dr. Erik Normann for two very successful years as President of the IHF. His shoes are very big ones to fill – both literally and figuratively. I am happy that he will remain close to us in the Executive Committee, and count on his wisdom and experience for the upcoming two years.

I would also like to welcome Dr. Risto Miettunen as President Designate and Dr. Muna AbdulRazzaq Tahlak as treasurer, and congratulate both of you for taking responsibility for the future of this institution.

And, as we look to the future of Hospitals around the world we see the challenges and opportunities of a changing world upon us.

Technology has brought us closer together and empowered us to provide better and safer care, but it has also exacerbated inequalities and created new demands in terms of training, investment and infrastructure.

Our patients, and the maladies that afflict them, are also changing – our world is becoming older, wealthier and urban. Hospitals today must work as a part of a system that can provide good care for not only acute conditions, but also that can also help chronic patients to live fuller and more satisfying lives, for longer.

As a part of an integrated system, the way that hospitals are paid for their services must also change. I believe the IHF must actively discuss and propose models that ensure that the value that hospitals create for their patients is recognized. These new models must promote ethical, efficient and integrated care and properly align the interests of professionals, patients, hospitals and payers.

Hospitals have a duty not only to be a part of this change, but also to lead it. Hospitals are incredible centers for knowledge and resources in the health system. It is in hospitals that real change must begin.

And, together with hospitals and with the world, the IHF must change as well. The federation must deliver value to its associates, empowering them with knowledge from around the world. It must help hospitals with international benchmarks, so they know what they need to learn and what they can teach.

In a world where a large part of the population still does not have proper access to care, it must be the IHF’s role to help hospitals expand that access, but also to make sure that access comes along with quality and safety for patients.

The IHF must also tirelessly advocate for hospitals, both in national and international forums. We count on the federation to continue asserting the importance of hospitals as an indispensable part of health systems.

Eric de Roodenbeke’s leadership has seen the IHF follow in an important path, with his work on empowering management in hospitals and his active participation in international forums, such as the WHO. We count on him to keep on being innovative and to keep delivering the value that the federation’s members need.

The tenure of a Brazilian as president could hardly begin without mentioning football. No football team works well when only a few players are committed. The IHF will need the active participation of every member to face the challenges of the future and to continue being a relevant organization. I hope we can all be ever closer to the Federation – we are stronger together and we can make hospitals stronger together.

As President, I hope to live up to the trust that you have put in me and I am honored to serve the IHF and its members. If you wish to participate more closely, to share your ideas and to work for the future of hospitals, please do not hesitate to come closer. I hope to be able to lean on your inspiration, hard work and experience in the next couple of years. As for me, I am at your disposal and the doors of the IHF are always open to its members.

Thank you very much”

Dr Risto Miettunen is Chief Executive of Kuopio University Hospital District in Finland and representing the Association of Finnish Local Authorities.

Dr Muna Tahlak has been nominated as treasurer of the IHF. She is the current CEO of the Latifa Hospital, representing the Dubai Health Authority. She will chair the financial committee and take part in the executive committee.

Dr Kwang-Tae Kim, the former IHF immediate past president, has been elected life-long honorary member and he will continue to support the IHF awards.

The IHF also announces 5 new board members: Dr Adesola Pitan (Nigeria), Dr Qasem Al Salmi (Oman), Mr Cédric Arcos (France), Dr Jeong-Yong Hong (South Korea) and Dr Tony Pat-sing Ko (Hong Kong).

For more information about the International Hospital Federation and its governing council please visit