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By ISQua Thursday. Jul 4, 2019

Imagining the future Featured


This is the second of three blogs on my travels to Latin America in late May – early June. The visit to the enchanting city of Cartagena in Colombia, for the Regional ISQua conference, was illuminating.


Cartagena has a vivid history – a centre of the slave trade, buccaneers sacking the city, trade development and now a vibrant tourist destination. All in the mix for an exciting conference hosted by OES, Fundación Santa Fe and ISQua, with contributions from many ISQua experts, including ISQua President-Elect Jeffery Braithwaite, Gail Nielson, Odet Sabaria, John Brennan, Enrique Ruelas, and Ezequiel Elorrio Garcia. Also attending was Dr Albert Wu, who was sponsored by John Hopkins.


Colombia 1


Over 900 delegates spent three days imagining the future. I was privileged to open the conference with Albert on this topic, challenging all to think about what is possible and what we can do together to redesign healthcare.


This was the first of three talks I give throughout the conference – the remaining where on person-centred care, and on resilience. ISQua’s Experts gave numerous talks and the impact of ISQua was felt throughout. It felt like we were making a real difference.


I was fortunate to meet the Minister of Health Juan Pablo Uribe and the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Provision of Services, Ivan Dario Gonzalez Ortiz, to strengthen our bonds in Colombia.


ISQua will be working with WHO on the implementation of the national strategy and with the Colombian MOH on their accreditation standards.


I’d like to give special thanks to Teresa Sono and Sofia Rincon and all the team at OES, and to Henry and the Fundación Santa Fe de Bogota team.


I’d like to share my closing remarks from the conference:


The conference name is Imaginemos el futuro de la calidad en salud. I started with John Lennon and end with his dream - Tú podrás decir que soy un soñador, Pero no soy el único.

I see so many dreamers, start today to make our dreams a reality!


I also want to leave each of you with a challenge – when you go home to the next person you have earned the right to see:



  • introduce yourself
  • Ask the person his or her name
  • Ask what matters to him or her
  • Ask permission to do what you need to do



  • Ensure you wash your hands
  • Be accurate with prescribing and drug administration
  • Keep meticulous Medical Records
  • Have a clear and reliable Handover of information



  • Be respectful to all you work with and whom you treat
  • Nurture staff to deliver quality care
  • Respect all people all the time

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