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The SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital hosts a meeting of the 50 most important children’s hospitals in the world

08 May 2024
Group photo at the CHIEF forum at SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Heads of the CHIEF group sign a manifesto to request cooperation from the public administration, private entities and patient associations to improve the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases.

The Heads of the 50 most important pediatric hospitals in the world are meeting in Barcelona to hold the annual meeting of the international group CHIEF (Children’s Hospitals International Executive Forum). The SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, the only Spanish facility in the group, is hosting one of these executive meetings.

The CHIEF forum is made up of 50 General Directors of Pediatric Hospitals in the United States—such as the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia—and in Europe—such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Also taking part is the coordinator of the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), the international association of pediatric hospitals. Members meet once a year, and for the first time ever, this year, the forum will take place in Barcelona. Moreover, more participants have signed up to this year’s edition than to any of the previous years.

At the annual CHIEF forum, topics of interest and concern for pediatric hospitals are up for discussion. This year’s edition will cover topics such as the digital transformation of hospitals, environmental sustainability, and coordination during times of crisis on a worldwide scale, such as war and future pandemics.

According to Manel del Castillo, Managing Director of SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital and member of the CHIEF forum, ‘it is a pleasure, and at the same time, a huge responsibility to be part of this group and to host one of our forums, especially since it is considered the Davos of pediatric health.’

Manifesto for rare diseases

At the event today, the Heads of the CHIEF forum signed a manifesto requesting the cooperation of the public administration, businesses, universities, health and research facilities, as well as patient associations, so they can move towards a safer, more effective and universal form of clinical practice in the comprehensive care of rare pediatric diseases.

More specifically, the objectives are to attain a high level of multidisciplinary care, precise and personalised diagnosis, and better treatments. In addition, they have also asked for further development of telemedicine programmes, devices for the maintenance and care of complex chronic pediatric diseases, AI-associated data platforms, and finally, globally-coordinated translational research programmes.

The rare diseases category is extremely broad, with between 6,000 and 8,000 different conditions classified as such. Each disease on its own is very uncommon, but as a whole, rare diseases affect between 6% and 8% of the general population.