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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SEEHN statement on Strategy and Action Plan on Healthy Ageing during WHO RC62, Malta

Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
on Draft resolution Strategy and action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./4, Malta, September 2012


Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

There is no doubt in the European Region of WHO concerning the issue of aging. We have to look at the extension of longevity of human life as a sign of success not only for the improved social and economic situation of our citizens and residents. But we have to put on high pedestal the contribution of public health and primary care services and the health care services as a whole. One can survey our clinics and hospitals, not mentioned the rehabilitation centers, in order to realize that the patient- mix is changing and the population is graying. In the same time the old population has become more and more active and the old olds are suffering from NCD and the health care resources are spend on them.

Therefore the SEE HN would like to complement the secretariat for the "Strategy and action plan for healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020" which is published in the document EUR/RC62/10. We find the approach expressed in the document comprehensive, taking into consideration the whole walks of life of the elderly citizens: it has the right balance between prevention of both communicable and non communicable diseases, secondary and tertiary prevention in order to give not only "more years to life" but also "more life to years" as the old slogan of WHO has reiterated.

All this is well reflected in the Draft resolution Strategy and action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./4.

Furthermore the document and the draft resolution reflect the new culture which should be adopted in the WHO/Euro – it is well connected in synergy .with the Health 2020 Strategy and the public health Action Plan. This important strategy that applies to the fast growing sub-population in Europe, is an excellent example how to curve different strategies in the future. The secretariat and the experts from the various MS who have contributed to the strategy and the document should be praised by all of us. The proof of the strategy is in the implementation. It is the core business both of the WHO/Euro Headquarters as well as the individual MS and the question is to find the proper resources in times of economic crisis like that one we are living in..

In conclusion: the Member States of the SEEHN are associated themselves with the strategy and the action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 and is endorsing the draft resolution.

Thank you Mr. Chairman!

SEEHN statement on the report of WHO/Europe Regional Director during RC62, Malta

 Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
on Draft resolution: Report of the Regional Director on the work of WHO in the European Region 2010–2011 - EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./1, Malta ,September 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

We have just listened to   the report of our RD, Ms. Zsuzsana Jakab, which also is published in the working document EUR/RC62/5 of this Regional Committee. Although this is her first report in her five years term, it seems to us that she is leading the European Region of WHO for a long time.

The Member States of the SEEHN congratulate the Regional Director for this comprehensive and straightforward report that side by side with her deep concern for improvement of the work of WHO/Euro, she is able to demonstrate implementations, achievements and also to point out on issues that should be improved and invested upon.

We are living in time of financial crisis that has affected almost all the MS of the region. It has put many constraints on the Ministries of Health of the Member States and naturally on the headquarters in Copenhagen. This situation demands vision, leadership, and dedication hand in hand with professionalism.  The 10 MS of the SEEHN who read this report are in the opinion that the RD has set in the following year of 2011-2012 the important foundation for the future work of the region on order to accomplish her ambitious road-map. We are referring to the New European policy Framework for Health and Wellbeing, which is called health 2020. This overall strategy is based on evidence as well as on wide participation and consultation with all the MS. As an outcome of this endeavor all the deliberations and debates of this Regional Committee will be different the previous RC in an improved and upgraded way.

The Regional Office of Europe has put Public Health back on the stage underpinning the strategy and the action plan for Public health Services that is on the agenda of this RC, Non- Communicable Diseases including Healthy Aging based on evidence and active participation of the MS. But life goes on and other emerging issues have been dealt with: the governance of the HQ; the constrains imposed by the budgetary situation;, the consequences of the  WHO reform; building partnership with different organization including the EU and The ECDC ; tackling the Communicable Diseases as HIV and TB to name only few.  

The SEEHN has been mentioned in the report of the RD and not without a sound reason. We thank the RD for continuous support of the network, the attendance in the SEEHN ministerial meeting. The Network has been established as part of the Stability Pact by WHO/Euro creating partnership with different donor organization and donor Member States of Europe, to serve as a tool  to peace and stability and confidence building in the SEE. Further on it has proven to be an excellent health diplomacy tool serving sustainable economic development through the whole of a government approach in the SEE Health Network member states. The investment in the SEEHN in terms of allocating coordinator officer in times of change of guard and strengthening global health diplomacy capacities for the Member States of the SEE Region using innovative tools is very well appreciated and further encouraged both for the SEEHN and in other European regions. Furthering this line of action will provide for cross-fertilization public health developments between the WHO and SEE Health Network member states, but also strengthening SEEHN role in global health diplomacy for improved public health gains. Furthermore, the SEEHN member states will respond to the challenge of implementation of the H2020 and the action plan in their endeavors, reporting to the Fourth Ministerial Forum in 2014 on the results achieved and impact of what we will endorse at this Committee and that are in line with the Banja Luka Pledge endorsed by the SEEHN.

We believe that the work culture introduced by the RD to her staff and the involvements of the MS of the European Region in the work of the office is respected also by the MS of other sub-region and will pay off in the years to come.

In conclusion: the SEEHN is applauding the RD for her visionary approach, the priorities set up and her achievement. The SEEHN is endorsing the draft resolution EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./1
Thank you Mr. Chairman!

SEEHN statement on European Public Health Action Plan during WHO RC62, Malta

Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
On public health Action Plan, Malta, September 2012


 
Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

Today is a great day for public health since the Regional Committee celebrates the inauguration of the Public Health Action Plan for the European Region of the WHO. True, WHO is the public health agency of the United Nations; The WHO/Euro has done remarkable job in many public health issues during its more than 60 years of existence, but each time every distinguished delegate from a MS talked, who had taken the floor and mentioned the term public health was he referring to the same concept? Even in different schools of public health there were different conceptualizations of the term and the terminology!

Why? Because we are dealing with developing issues, up and coming challenges which are the outcome of living in a changing world. Public Health is reaching far and beyond the community, district, sub-national, national to the globalized world. As we are dealing with emerging infectious the issues of NCDs, Social Determinants of Health, Inequalities in Health and others have taken their important place on the national arena.

The states of the SEEHN are congratulating the RD for putting public health high on the list of her priorities from the first day she has been chosen to the office. We applaud to the WHO/EURO public health team that has initiated the endeavor of having an consensus document dealing with what is Public Health and its Essential Public Health Operations for each country to identify the "must have" in order to establish an efficient public health services that are able to deal with the current and the future challenges. Especially we express gratitude to Dr. Maria Ruseva that has done a huge contribution to the establishment of the SEEHN and strengthening public health systems in the SEEHN member states, also through the work on this document and leading piloting EPHOs in this region.

Moreover, the original document was issued together with a self assessing tool for each country to examine strengths and the weaknesses of its public health services in order to bridge the gaps that have been identified. This work has emphasized areas of the Essential Public Health Operations that are most important for the country to be developed. The members of the SEEHN have taken upon themselves this hard work and thus have not only contributed to the public health document, but have upgraded him.

The SEEHN agrees to the notion that the Public Health Action Plan is one of the main pillars of the Strategy of the WHO/Euro for the year 2020. This integration is essential for the success of this endeavor that all of us are taking upon ourselves.

We see that not only in the SEE region public health is a bridge to peace, a tool to sustainable development and for participatory democracy through the whole of a government approach. It clearly enhances the international collaboration between the MS of European Region lead by the WHO.

The SEEHN being continuously growing an agora for public health has already pledged at the Banja Luka Ministerial Forum to continue its activities within the framework of the H2020 and implement it through its strategic work. The SEEHN will further continue to assess the public health systems in its member states, to monitor and evaluate them using and further developing tools and instruments that will strengthen EPHOs, as they are defined in the document

Last but not least we pledge that the other MS of the European Region implement the action plan for our success and better healthy life our next generations to live in a better life in a better environment.

The SEEHN is endorsing the draft resolution.

Thank you Mr. Chairman!

SEEHN statement on Health 2020 during WHO RC62 Malta

Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
On the Health 2020 for the RC62 Malta, September 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

The South East European Health Network congratulates the European Region of WHO secretariat, The Regional Director and the Member States that have taken upon them to enter into this endeavor of endorsing this strategy of "Health 2020 – The European policy framework for health and well-being". It has been reached in a unique participatory process, lead by the Regional Director and the Standing Committee, conducting two meetings of all the MS of the region within a year of work. The secretariat has provided us an extremely useful document in a short and a long version as an outcome of this intensive work. 

It is an important milestone in the history of the European Region of WHO that instead of dealing with resolutions and strategies concerning specific health issues, an umbrella strategy that will lead the work of the WHO/Euro for the next eight years. Moreover it has the potential to show all the MS of the European Region the "northern star" that will enlighten them on what and how to achieve Health and well- being for their citizens and create their tailored national 2020 strategies.

Mr. Chairman!
 Adopting this resolution and the Health 2020 strategy is an achievement but also a commitment.  From this day on the preparation and discussion in the Regional Committee will be upgraded in a way that they will be with referral and in the light of this Health 2020 Strategy.

Therefore we suggest amending the draft resolution by adding a new subparagraph in Item. 6 (" Request the Regional Director") right after 6b, which will be the new 6c and the previous 6c will become 6d etc. It will read: "ensure that in each further resolution dealing with strategies on different issues in the work of WHO/Euro a special reference should be added as for the relation and interconnection with the Health 2020 strategy".

We would like to remind the other MS of the WHO/Euro that the two other strategies that we are debating on them during this RC62 in Malta, namely "public health" and "healthy aging" are interconnected with the Health 2020. This new tradition must be the rule for the future, as appropriate.

Health workforce mobility in the South-east European Health Network Region

A recent report prepared by IOM and the SEEHN provides more information in the situation of health workforce mobility and migration in the SEEHN member states. Below is the Executive Summary of the report. To read the full report please click here.

Dynamic health-related demographic and migratory trends are creating new challenges for health systems across Europe – nationally and regionally. The increasing out-migration of health professionals from low- and middle-income countries towards high-income countries of the European Union (EU) is becoming a crucial problem facing the health systems of the sending countries. The Council of the European Union recognizes that the ageing of the population and the health workforce, coupled with the growing number of major and chronic diseases, the changing needs of patients and of the health systems, the increasing mobility of patients and health care professionals, and the emergence of new technologies pose new challenges for all Member States, and require innovative approaches in training and supplying the health workforce of the future.

In recent years, many of these health workforce needs in the EU have been met by increasing numbers of migrating non-EU health professionals, including those from South-Eastern Europe (SEE). The situation in the SEE is alarming, due to substantial loss of qualified, trained health professionals from the Region. Through its collaborative efforts with the South-Eastern European Health Network (SEEHN), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) administered a survey, developed within the framework of the MoHProf Project
, on the mobility of health professionals involving the member states of the SEEHN (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia), in order to determine the gravity of the situation.

Overall, the surveys reveal that the out-migration of highly trained and qualified health professionals is a prominent concern throughout the Region. With the EU as the primary destination for SEE health workers, the sending states recognize the need for the establishment of greater collaboration, data collection, formal agreements and codes of best practice between sending and receiving countries. Ensuring the best, most effective, and most equitable exchange between health systems in the present will not only facilitate the resolution of current healthcare needs within Europe, it will also promote the development of sustainable healthcare systems for the future needs of all.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

SEEHN supports the European Action Plan on Public Health

The 62nd session of the WHO Regional Office for Europe Regional Committee approved the European Action Plan for strengthening public health capacities and services. The EAP received the support of all the member states. The EAP was presented by Dr Hans Kluge, Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

The SEEHN Presidency, held by the State of Israel, supported the EAP, on behalf of the SEEHN member states, and expressed the commitment to implementing the EAP in the SEE sub-region.

Recognition was expressed for the work of Dr Maria Ruseva, at time of her retirement from the WHO Europe, for her contribution and achievements linked to both the SEE Health Network and the Public Health Services program of the WHO Regional Office, and to the EAP specifically.

For more information on the RC62 click here.

For more information on EAP click here.

For more information on public health services program of WHO/Europe click here.

WHO Regional Committee 62nd Session, Malta

WHO Governing bodies

Regional Committee (RC)

The Regional Committee (RC) meets in September each year – the dates alternating between Copenhagen and a Member State.
It is composed of delegations from the 53 Member States of the European Region.
Main functions of the RC:
  • to formulate regional policies;
  • to supervise EURO’s activities;
  • to comment on the regional component of the proposed programme budget;
  • to nominate the Regional Director and transmit to the Executive Board for endorsement.
For more information please visit:

https://intranet.euro.who.int/work-by-area/units/governing-bodies/regional-committee-rc

SEEHN representation in WHO governing bodies

Dear National Health Coordinators,

Dear members of the Executive Committee,

Dear RHDCs Directors,

I hereby inform and  CONGRATULATE to you, to your country representatives and to your member states that the SEEHN member states have achieved such a success at the RC62, namely:

- ALB was elected for the EB,
- ISR and MDA were elected for the European SC

As a result,  5 of the SEEHN countries are members of WHO Governing bodies: 1 in EB (ALB) and 4 in the SC (BUL< CRO< ISR< MDA). On top, most probably Dessislava Dimitrova (BUL)  will become the Chair of the SC.

This info will be posted on the twitter and through the WHO site.There are also very positive movements regarding the Secretariat that will be registered by end of September 2012, and the inauguration will be in Ocober 2012. I will inform on this in detail in addition.


Thank you all and the best, Snezhana



Snezhana Chichevalieva
Public Health Officer,
Division of Health Systems and Public Health WHO/Europe Focal Point for the SEE Health Network Based in CO Skopje, MKD