ICN and Japanese Nursing Association call on G7 Leaders to support healthcare workers

11 May 2023
ICN CEO Howard Catton

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the Japanese Nursing Association (JNA) have issued a joint statement calling on leaders of the G7 to commit to action to support nurses and healthcare workers worldwide. The 49th G7 Summit is being held in Hiroshima, Japan, 19-21 May 2023.

In the statement, signed by ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano and JNA President Dr Toshiko Fukui, ICN and JNA proposed three recommendations in order to support nurses and promote their active role in strengthening systems and realizing Universal Health Coverage (UHC):

  1. Secure and rebuild the workforce for healthcare services to realize and strengthen UHC
  2. Establish more effective and efficient healthcare systems
  3. Increase investment in healthcare to develop better systems that are more resilient and equitable.

Nurses are the largest health profession in the health workforce and are intrinsically linked to the ability of countries to achieve UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In their statement, ICN and JNA urged governments to heavily invest in a competent health workforce with a focus on nurses and midwives, including quality education, recruitment and retention strategies and assurance of decent work and fair pay.

As a member of the UHC Task Force, Dr Cipriano has previously stated that UHC will not be achieved by 2030 unless governments embed UHC in their national health policy frameworks and budgets. She has said:

“Of critical importance is the vital need to support, grow and protect the global nursing and healthcare workforce. They are essential for rebuilding the strong and resilient health systems that are needed for health security. Strong, responsive and resilient systems have healthier people, which in turn, creates healthy economies and safe and secure societies.”

On 12 May, International Nurses Day, ICN will release a Charter for Change which presents ten policy actions that governments and employers must take if they are to create and sustain health care systems that are safe, affordable, accessible, and responsive.

The G7 Summit is an international forum held annually for the leaders of the G7 member states of France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada (in order of rotating presidency), and the European Union (EU).

Download the communique here