Health Care in Danger Initative (HCiD)

Health Care in Danger (HCiD) is an ICRC-led project of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement scheduled to run from 2012 to 2015. It aimed at improving the efficiency and delivery of effective and impartial health care in armed conflict and other emergencies.

Within the framework of the initiative, medical ethics constitute a major area of cooperation between the ICRC and the WMA. This was formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding signed on the 26th of June 2013. With this agreement, the WMA aims to contribute to the development of the project, especially by addressing the responsibility of health-care personnel in armed conflicts and other emergencies. Download the MoU

A series of expert consultations took place, each designed to come up with practical recommendations to enhance the protection of health-care providers and beneficiaries in armed conflicts and other emergencies. The WMA participated in some of the consultations related to the role and responsibilities of health care personnel.

In May 2013, the ICRC set up a Health Care in Danger Network, a web-based interactive platform that gathers organisations and individuals working to improve safe access to health-care in armed conflict and other emergencies. The Network allows members to access and contribute to a resource centre dedicated to the issue documents and tools. Members can also exchange practical experience, share a community calendar and follow on recommendations developed during the Health Care in Danger workshops

In October 2014, the ICRC launched a new e-learning on health care responsabilities in times of conflict and other emergencies. This module is specifically designed to help health-care personnel understand the effects of violence on health care, their own rights and responsibilities and ethical dilemmas they may face in situations of violence. "This e-learning module is an essential tool bringing clarity to all and will empower physicians worldwide," said Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the World Medical Association. "It will enable them to understand their rights and responsibilities and ethical obligations in situations of emergency. The WMA warmly welcomes this ICRC initiative." Read the press release.

On June 30th 2015, civilian and military health-care organizations launched the first-of-its-kind code of ethics, the "Ethical Principles of Health Care in Times of Armed Conflict and Other Emergencies". These principles were adopted by WMA General Assembly in October 2014 (Durban, South Africa).

On Tuesday 3 May 2016, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution S/RES/2286 on Health Care in Armed Conflict demanding protection for those who provide health care and accountability for violators. The measures urged in the Resolution include a call to member States to conduct independent investigations of incidents against health care services and prosecute those found responsible for violations “in accordance with domestic and international law.”  Following the adoption of Resolution, 45 organisations including 36 National Societies of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the ICRC, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and 7 global health organisations (including WMA) published an open letter addressed to all UN member States to demand the urgent implementation of the measures listed in the Resolution as well as those developed in the framework of the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) initiative, including the  Ethical Principles of Health Care in Armed Conflict and other Emergencies.

More information on WMA’s activities in relation with this topic