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The work of the Group started with the 1st International Public Health Seminar (IPHS) 1957 at the Hospital Cantonal, Geneva, with 62 participants from 27 countries. The seminar was initiated to respond to the need for an international forum to share information and exchange ideas on how best to improve the planning and design of healthcare projects.

Since its foundation, a decisive factor in the work of the Group has been the continuous dialogue and close collaboration with the leading international associations representing health and hospital care organisations.

From its inception, the Public Health Group has collaborated with the International Hospital Federation at the International Hospital Congresses and the IHF-Pan Regional Congresses. One of the benefits of this relationship was the opportunity for members of the UIA PHG to participate in the study tours of hospitals organised by the International Hospital Federation.


Following the International Public Health Seminar in 1966, a secretariat for the UIA Public Health Group was established in Athens, Greece with T. Papayannis as its Secretary.

In 1971 the UIA-Section Federal Republic of Germany, Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), Bonn, took charge of the Public Health Group.  Richard Joachim Sahl, Architect BDAao, was elected its Secretary. During this period, the secretariat of the Public Health Group was located at Deutsches Krankenhausinstitut in Düsseldorf.

In 1990, the UIA-PHG organized its first Exchange Study Tours: one tour for the German, Dutch and Swiss colleagues going to Kiew - Moscow - Zagorsk - St. Petersburg, and one tour for the Russian and Ukrainian colleagues going through Germany - Belgium - Switzerland and Austria. These continued through to July 2002 when the last study tour of hospitals took place in Germany from Frankfurt via Erfurt-Weimar-Dresden-Meissen to Berlin.

At the UIA-Council meeting held in Barcelona, Spain in July 1996, the UIA decided to restructure the work groups then extant. The term "Group" was replaced by the term "Work Program" and the term "Secretary" was replaced by "Director". At its 86th session held in Chandigarh in India, the UIA-Council accepted the appointment of Dr. Hans-Evert Gatermann, architect BDAao, as Director of the UIA Public Health Work Program.

In 2003, the German Chamber of Architects informed the UIA that they no longer could support the Public Health Work Program for economic reasons and that the BAK would represent the German Architects at the UIA. The UIA reluctantly accepted this situation and expressed its appreciation of the work done by architect Hans Evert Gatermann as Director of the UIA Public Health Work Program, especially his work in establishing links with the World Health Organisation. 


As a result of these changes, architect Martin Fiset from Canada was appointed as the Director of the UIA Public Health Work Program from January 2004 to July 2005.

At the 23rd Session of the General Assembly of the UIA in Istanbul in July 2005, architect Luub Wessels from the Netherlands was elected as the Director of the Public Health Work Program, on the nomination of the Dutch Federation of Architects. During his term in this role the secretariat was accommodated within the Netherlands Board for Healthcare Institutions.


Unfortunately during 2007 Luub Wessels had to retire from this role due to ill-health and in January 2008 Hans Eggen was appointed as the Director of the UIA Public Health Work Program.  Hans continued in this role until March 2012 when Professor George Mann from Texas A&M University was appointed as the Director of the UIA PHG.


Unfortunately, in September 2013, George Mann had to retire from this role due to ill-health just prior to the UIA PHG Seminar held in Toronto where Warren Kerr from Australia was elected as the Director.  Warren served in this role until the UIA PHG Congress in London in 2017 when Cliff Harvey from Canada was appointed as the Director for the period 2017-2020.  In September 2020, Dr Ray Pentecost took over as the Director for the period 2020-2023.


For many years the work of each Director of the UIA PHG was ably supported by Janice Axon in her role as the Honorary Secretary of the Work Group.  This entailed preparing the minutes and agendas for the Annual Meetings of the UIA PHG, monitoring the actions and outcomes agreed at each meeting and maintaining the membership roll of Official Members and guests.  In 2015, Janice was unable to attend the UIA PHG Seminar due to ill health and Philip Patrick Sun was appointed to undertake the role of Honorary Secretary.


In 2018, an offer from Texas A&M University to provide a full-time secretariat for the UIA PHG was accepted and is now available to support the current and future members of the Public Health Group Executive in fulfilling the potential of this UIA Work Group. 

Wooden Bookshelves
Old Study

The following places and topics reflect the activities of the UIA-PHG since its foundation in 1957:

1957 Geneva Switzerland (IPHS)

Hospital Planning with Special Regard to Preventive and Reductive Medicine, to Hospital Care in Tropical Zones and to Town Planning


1959 Edinburgh Great Britain (IHC)

Efficiency Methods in the Hospital


1960 Moscow USSR (PHGM)

Teaching Hospitals; Spa Centres; Health Centres in Developing Countries 


1961 Venice Italy (IHC)

Changes in Hospital Planning and Construction; Changes in the Concepts of Patient Care


1962 Tel Aviv Israel (STVH)

Hospitals in Israel; Nursing Units


1963 Paris France (IHC)

The Design of Ward Units


1965 Stockholm Sweden  (IHC)

Recent Developments in the Design of Hospitals in Scandinavia; Planning and Building of Out-Patient Departments


1966 Athens Greece (IPHS)

Planning of Health and Hospital Care Facilities; The Role of the Architect in Programming, Planning and Design


1967 Prague CSSR (UIAC)

Medical and Architectural Aspects of Progressive Patient Care


1967 Chicago USA (IHC)

Equipping of Hospitals, Analysis of Space Requirement


1969 Düsseldorf Federal Republic of Germany (IHC)

Industrialized Building Methods and their Application in Building Hospitals


1970 Düsseldorf Federal Republic of Germany (IPHS)

Methods of Planning for Hospitals and other Health Care Facilities; Hospital of the Future


1971 Dublin Ireland (IHC)

Construction and Evaluation of Hospitals; Rationalization of Hospital Buildings


1972 Varna Bulgaria (UIAC) (AM)

Planning and Operation of Health and Hospital Care with Regard to Architecture and Leisure


1972 Prague CSSR (IPHS) (AM)

Survey of Health and Hospital Care Facilities in Europe


1973 Montreal Canada (IHC) (AM)

The Environment of the Hospital - Design, Control and Maintenance

1974 Nairobi Kenya (IPHS) (AM)

Planning and Building of Health Care Facilities under Conditions of Limited Resources


1975 Venice Italy (UIAC)

Analysis of Health and Hospital Building


1975 Zagreb Yugoslavia (IHC) (AM)

Review of the Considerations of the Nairobi Seminar 1974


1976 Copenhagen Denmark (STVH) (AM)

Hospitals in Denmark; National Activities in the Field of Hospital Care


1977 Tokyo Japan (IHC) (AM)

Modernization of Hospitals in Urban Areas


1978 Mexico City Mexico (UIAC) (AM)

Information and Collaboration in Health and Hospital Care with Regard to the Architect


1978 Manila Philippines (IPHS)

Emergency Care in Natural Disasters


1979 Oslo Norway (IHC) (AM)

Hospital Design - Integration of Engineering Services; Actual Problems in Planning, Building and Operation of Health and Hospital Care Facilities

1980 Basle Switzerland (IPHS) (AM)

Planning, Building and Organization of Medical Research Facilities


1981 Warsaw Poland (UIAC) (AM)

Humanization of Health and Hospital Care Facilities; Disabled Man and his Environment


1981 Sydney Australia (IHC)

Energy Conservation; Hospitals and Disabled Persons


1983 Lausanne Switzerland (IHC) (AM)

Design of Hospitals Regarding Economy, Efficiency and Humanity


1984 Berlin Federal Republic of Germany (IBA)

Health Care and Hospital Care in Society


1984 Budapest Hungary (IPHS) (AM)

Health and Hospital Care's Heritage and Future

1985 San Juan Puerto Rico (IHC)

Controlling Costs and Maintaining Quality


1985 Cairo Egypt (UIAC) (AM)

Architects in Health and Hospital Care - Experience and Perspectives

1986 Tel Aviv Israel (IPHS) (AM)

Computer Assisted Planning and Operation of Health and Hospital Care Facilities

1987 Helsinki Finland (IHC) (AM)

What Design for Hospitals and Health Centres of the Future?



1987 Brighton Great Britain (UIAC)

Health in Building Tomorrow's World


1988 Havana Cuba (PRC)

Architecture for Health


1988 Moscow USSR (IPHS) (AM)

Analysis of Designing, Building and Maintaining of Health and Hospital Care Facilities in View of the WHO Strategy "Health for All by the Year 2000"


1988 Strasbourg France (PRC)

Achieving Better Living Conditions in Towns: Health and Architecture


1989 Rome Italy (PRC)

Experience and Findings of Architecture for Health -

Facing the Hospital of the Year 2000


1989 The Hague Netherlands (IHC)

The Built Environment for Curing and Caring


1990 Ottawa Canada (IPHS)

Guidelines on Programming and Design of Health and Hospital Care Facilities in Developing Countries. 


1990 Ottawa Canada (JC, AM,)

The Role of Architecture in Health Care – Year 2000 and Beyond


1990 Montreal/Canada (UIAC)

Architecture for Health: Architecture and Environment; Architecture and Aging


1990 Jerusalem/Israel (PRC)

Planning for an Aging Population


1991 Düsseldorf Germany (HC)

European Perspectives in Planning, Building and Operation of Hospitals


1991 Washington USA (IHC) (AM)

Planning, Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities: The Front Lines, Improving what we have, Design Innovations


1991 Maastricht Netherlands (HC)

Building a Hospital - Anticipating on Future Developments


1992 Buenos Aires Argentina (IPHS) (AM)

The Health Facilities in the Continuous Quality Improvement; Guidelines for Health Facilities Planning


1992 London Great Britain 1992 (PRC)

Emerging Approaches to Hospital Care and Hospital Architecture - Focusing on the Development in Europe

1993 Madrid Spain (IHC)

New Science & New Systems: Their Impact on Health Facility Design


1993 Chicago USA (JC) (AM)

The Public Health System around the World; Healthcare on a Budget


1993 Chicago USA (UIAC)

Following the WHO request on "Health for All by the Year 2000"


1993 Hanover Germany (HC)

Planning Objectives for Existing Hospital Facilities


1993 Rome Italy (PRC)

Considerations and findings for Hospital Design, Planning and Building


1994 Lyon France (HC)

Hospital and the City


1994 Nuremberg Germany (HC)

Changing Use, Rebuilding and Maintenance of Hospitals


1994 Tokyo & Yokohama Japan (PRC) (AM)

Ideals and Realities: Design for Healing Environment


1995 Hanover Germany (HC)

Operational and Constructional Impact of the Shift in Functional Objectives


1995 Budapest Hungary (IHC) (AM)

Architecture for Health in an Era of Constraints

Celebrating 40 Years UIA-Public Health (UIA-PHG)


1996 Florence Italy (IPHS) (AM)

Continuing, Updating and Upgrading of Existing Health Care Facilities


1996 Nuremberg Germany (HC)

Composing of Health Centres


1996 Barcelona Spain (UIAC)

Architecture for Health and Hospitals in Cities


1997 Hanover Germany (HC) (IPHS) (AM) (BA)

Achievements and Efficiency of Health Care Facilities

in an Era of Limited Resources. Highly Sophisticated Medicine and its Consequences in Design and Planning


1997 Berlin Germany (STVH)

Charité, Weissensee, Neukölln, Reinickendorf, Lankwitz


1997 Melbourne Australia (HC) (STVH)

Innovations in Hospital Design

 1998 Thessaloniki Greece (IPHS) (AM) (STVH)

Hospital Planning in an Era of Economy and Ecology

Health Care Facilities for a Changing Population

Health Promoting Hospitals - A Challenge for Architects



1998 Berlin Germany (IBA)

Exhibition of Contemporary Hospital Projects


1999 Cairo Egypt (IPHS) (AM)

Planning, Design and Equipment of Hospitals for Developing Countries


1999 Copenhagen Denmark (HC)

Linking Hospitals to the Future


1999 Beijing China (UIAC)

Refurbishing Existing Hospitals


2000 Palma de Mallorca Spain (PRC)

Hospital Design for the 21. Century


2000 Stockholm Sweden (IPHS) (AM)

Health Promoting Hospitals, New Perspectives in the 21st Century. The Impact of Medical Technology on Healthcare Buildings

New Roles for Hospital Architects in the Future


2000 Vancouver Canada (JC)

Beyond 2000 


2000 Manama Bahrain (PCR)


2001 Manila Philippines (AM,IPHS,STVH)

Technologies and Trends in Developing and Developed Countries


2001 Hong Kong China (AM,HC,STVC)

Rebirth of Hospitals


2001 Volos Greece (JC)

Designing for the Elderly


2002 Frankfurt am Main & Berlin Germany (UIAC, IPHS, AM, STVH)

Architecture for Health


2003 San Francisco USA (IHC, STVH, AM. IPHS)

Masterplanning and Guidelines for Hospitals


2004 San Paulo Brazil


2005 Istanbul Turkey

The Hospital and the City


2006 Pretoria South Africa (PHCM, AM, STVH)

Designing for Sustainable Healthcare Facilities in Africa


2007 Beijing China (PHCM, AM, STVH)

The Architecture of Health Facilities in the coming 25 years


2008 Florence Italy (PHCM, AM, STVH, GUPHA)

The Culture for the Future of Healthcare Architecture


2009 Buenos Aires Argentina (PHCM, AM, STVH, GUPHA)

New trends in planning and process for the development of health facilities


2010 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The Making of Affordable & Safe Healthcare Facilities for All


2011 Tokyo Japan

Safety and Security in Healthcare Environment 


2012 Oslo Norway 

New Ideas in Hospital Planning and Building Flexibility, Quality and Energy Efficiency.


2013 Toronto Canada (PHCM, AM, STVH, GUPHA)

The pursuit of better health and better healthcare design at lower costs per capita 


2014 Durban South Africa (PHCM, AM, STVH)

Healthcare Otherwhere


2015 Dalian China (PHCM, AM, STVH, GUPHA)

Health for All – Cultural, Populational, Operational & Technological Influences.


2016 Nairobi Kenya (PHCM, GUPHA)

Globalization of Health – Building Sustainable One-Health Communities to Overcome Grand Challenges in Global Health


2017 London United Kingdom (PHCM, AM, STVH)

Healing Environments 


2018 Paris France (PHCM, AM, STVH, GUPHA)

Design Architecture Technology Environment 


2019 Christchurch New Zealand (PHCM, AM, STVH)

Invest Innovate Inspire 


2020 Rio de Janeiro Brazil (Cancelled due to COVID-19)

2021 Rio de Janeiro Brazil



AM Annual Meeting (UIA-PHG)

IPHS International Public Health Seminar (UIA-PHG/IHF/WHO-DSHS)

IHC International Hospital Congress (IHF)

PHGM Meeting of the Public Health Group (UIA-PHG)

STVH Study Visits of Hospitals

UIAC International Architects Congress (UIA)

JC Joint Conference (UIA-PHG/AIA-CAH/RAIC-AHC)

GUPHA Meeting of Global University Programs in Healthcare Architecture

PRC Pan Regional Congress

HC Hospital Congress/Hospital Seminar

IBA/BA International Building Exhibition

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