The World Medical Association engages in advocacy work to respond to the global challenges in international medicine and promote critical health related policies. The WMA collaborates with numerous international, regional and national organizations in its advocacy work.As the only organization representing the voice of the medical profession globally, the WMA considers advocacy one of its key priorities on the international scene.  Broadly speaking, the WMA’s advocacy objective is to publicize the concerns of the medical profession, to promote the highest standards of medical ethics and patient care and to advance adherence to international human rights standards related to health.Based on their skills and experiences, physicians have substantial contributions to make at all stages of the decision-making process in the field of health - at both the national and international levels:

• Shaping policies in the field of health and assessing health impact of other policies;

• Monitoring the implementation of health policies;

• Assessing the implementation and making recommendations for further development or improvement.

Collective advocacy

The WMA’s influence is directly linked to its capacity to monitor, stimulate and interact with the work of relevant international organizations, liaising with its members and other health professions organizations.

With the full and coordinated support of its members across the world, the WMA develops advocacy strategies and actions to influence the global health agenda.

In parallel, the WMA has been actively engaged in the World Health Professions Alliance for more than 10 years. Together with the International Council of Nurses, the International Federation of Pharmacists and the International Dental Federation, the WMA cooperates to present the unified view of the health professions to other world health care organizations.

The WMA has developed alliances and partnerships with other international bodies working on more specific health topics.

Topics in advocacy


The WMA seeks to establish and promote the highest possible standards of ethical behaviour and care by physicians.

Human rights

As health professionals, physicians have a key role to play in providing high quality care to all patients without discrimination and preventing and reporting acts of torture that constitute human rights violations. Physicians are also often victims of human rights violations, especially when they act on behalf of the human rights of their patients.. The WMA supports the human rights of physicians and often intervenes on behalf of physicians who have been persecuted or imprisoned for their human rights-related actions.

Public health

Together with its members, the WMA acts for the development of coordinated public health policies in order to prevent disease, prolong life and improve health status of all.

Health systems

The WMA advocates for the development of comprehensive, sustainable, fully functioning health care systems (including medical education) fulfilling its essential function of promoting quality care for all human beings.