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INCOMING PRESIDENT


Global healthcare facing unprecedented challenges ahead


As many of you will know, a special Congress of the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering (IFHE) was planned for May 2020. Special because, in addition to the important, traditional biennial meeting of all members, it would have celebrated the 50th anniversary of IFHE, which was created in 1970 in Rome. Indeed, Rome was due to


host the 26th IFHE Congress. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed Congress and disrupted our programmes. We have rescheduled the Congress for 23-28 January 2021 as a virtual event.


It goes without saying that the


rescheduling of Congress is of secondary importance to the major changes to the global healthcare engineering caused by COVID-19. First of all, the pandemic is still around us and we are now aware that it could stay with us for a long time. There is also a growing realisation that COVID-19 is likely to be followed, sooner or later, by similar viral epidemics or even pandemics. That means that it is almost


impossible to make evaluations but, as individuals and as professionals working in healthcare, we should aim to learn as many lessons as possible. One necessary question is the role that we – engineers, architects and health system technicians – should and could have. Will the change be limited only to the built environment of health infrastructure? Or should we approach the search for a new normal for prevention with different needs? Having changed in 2019 the name


of our organisation from International Federation of Hospital Engineering to International Federation of Healthcare Engineering, we have expanded the scope of our expertise. This will be very important in the aftermath of the pandemic, as many scientists and


IFHE DIGEST 2021


policymakers have declared that the weakest point in the battle against the coronavirus was the so-called ‘territory’. So, confirming the new definition of our organisation as the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering, our vision as ‘health technicians’ must be to widen our horizons. We have to protect not only the hospital environment but also the general environment. We have to become more aware of the need to reduce the environmental footprint of healthcare infrastructure and


Daniela Pedrini


Daniela is President of the International Federation of Healthcare Engineering. Daniela is director of the technical, planning, development and investments department of the Hospital-University Authority of Bologna – Sant’Orsola Polyclinic, one of the major hospitals in Italy. Daniela is project manager for renovations and new hospital construction. Co-founder and current President of SIAIS (Italian Society for Architecture and Engineer for Healthcare), Daniela has a long career in the health sector, with important roles in the management of technical aspects of hospitals, and teaches for many healthcare engineering courses and university Master’s programmes. Daniela is 1st Vice-President of the International Federation Hospital Engineering (IFHE) and a former President of IFHE-EU. Daniela has been honoured with a medal of the Italian Republic Order of Merit.


strengthen its sustainability. In other words, climate change is also our business. For example, the UK National Health Service, even in the middle of fighting COVID-19 in a serious way, has announced the goal of net zero emissions reduction across the organisation.


One of the major goals of IFHE will


be to expand our membership, and participating in existing networks, and contribute to creating new networks. This will work towards to understanding the need for prevention and the achievement of a more sustainable normal, even within health facilities. Part of our programme will also be


dedicated to strengthening relations with universities, and scientific and technical research in general involved in innovation, the public and private health sectors, hospital design and management, energy and the environment, as well as liaising with other international organisations and thinktanks. Furthermore, I will continue what


We have to protect not only the hospital environment but also the general environment


previous Presidents started and increase communication between IFHE members, giving greater visibility and knowledge of the current and future work of the federation.


Daniela Pedrini


President – International Federation of Healthcare Engineering


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