The International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals & Health Services (HPH) is a "network of networks". In total, it consists of 29 National/Regional HPH Networks, collaborating to reorient health care towards an active promotion of health. 

Each National/Regional HPH Network consists of a minimum of three hospital and health service members. Furthermore, more than 100 hospitals and health services are individual HPH members of the International Network, since they are located in places where there is not yet any National/Regional Network.

In total, the International HPH Network is made up of more than 700 hospital and health service members in more than 40 countries.

Click here to see the Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (HPH) world map.


Why HPH?

The goal of being an HPH member, of working with health promotion, and of collaborating internationally is to acheive a better health gain by improving the quality of health care, the relationship between hospitals/health services, the community and the environment, as well as the conditions for and satisfaction of patients, relatives, and staff.

The members are working on incorporating the concepts, values, strategies, and standards/indicators of health promotion into the organizational structure and culture of the hospitals and health services. The network follows the principles of World Health Organization (WHO) regarding health promoting as described in the Ottawa Charter (1986), the Budapest declaration (1991), the Vienna recommendations (1997), the Bangkok Charter (2006), and the Standards for Health Promoting in Hospitals (2006), while at all times adapting to local needs and resources.



More than a decade ago, the WHO initiated the Network of Health Promoting Hospitals as a pilot project in order to support hospitals in placing more emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention rather than on diagnosis and curative services alone.

Later, the International HPH Network became a non-governmental organization (NGO) on its own, with its constitution under Swiss law in 2008. Meanwhile, the network changed its name to include health services. This was done to extend the scope of the network by including non-hospital services in order to strengthen the vital links between primary health care and other health services. In this way, the network aims to secure the cooperation between and among hospitals, other health service providers, and other institutions and sectors. 

Since the early years, when HPH was merely a European WHO initiative, a global expansion has taken place. Now, the International HPH Network consists of more than 700 member hospitals and health services from all the continents of the world. The memberships are anchored in the management of district hospitals, primary care clinics (including general practitioners, nurses, and midwifes), university hospitals, health centers, and nursing homes among other parts of the health care system taking care of patients.

The December 2010 signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between WHO and the international HPH Network was a significant achievement, a very important step, and a great success. The document is an umbrella framework for collaboration, and it forms basis for the annual MoU Work Plan, which outlines the specific and detailed actions that will be taken. These actions have been included into the HPH Action Plan for 2011-2012.

The WHO collaborations are a key priority for HPH, and among the core elements are WHO’s Health 2020 document and the agreed focus on Eastern Europe, synergies with other WHO Networks, and the outside Europe work with PAHO, WPRO, EMRO, National Offices, and Liaison Officers, which would be strengthened in future. The connection and collaboration between WHO and HPH will continue to be developed for the benefit of patients, staff, and communities all over the world for years to come.


Join The International HPH Network

For registration, please visit Join HPH.