WHO publishes new International Classification of Diseases


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Health Organization has this week published its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

While the new document will not be presented to the World Health Assembly until May 2019 for adoption by Member States, it Is hoped the publication of this advance preview will allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare translations, and train health professionals. 

The new document features a number of changes to the existing ICD. Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders. A new chapter on sexual health brings together conditions that were previously categorised in other ways including, for example, gender incongruence which was previously included under mental health conditions. ICD-11 also includes a chapter on traditional medicine, which despite being used by millions of people around the world, has not previously been classified in this system. 

For the first time, the ICD is also completely electronic and has been described as having a much more user-friendly format. “A key principle in this revision was to simplify the coding structure and electronic tooling – this will allow health care professionals to more easily and completely record conditions,” says Dr Robert Jakob, Team Leader, Classifications Terminologies and Standards, WHO.