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Monday, April 29, 2013

Announcement: The 31st Meeting of the SEE Health Network will be held in Chisinau on 20-21 June 2013 under the Presidency of the Republic of MOldova

The 31st Plenary Meeting of the SEE Health Network will be held back-to-back to an EC/TAIEX Regional Workshop on Human Resources for Health.

The EC/TAIEX Workshop will focus on "Health professions regulation in the EU: Modernisation of the Professional Qualifications Directive – The European Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications" (including implementation challenges and importance of inter-sectoral cooperation).

The Workshop regional conclusions and recommendations will feed into and inform the regular Plenary Meeting of the SEE National Health Coordinators.

Additionally, the 31st Plenary of the SEE Health Network will deal with crucial strategic issues, such as:
  • the SEE 2020 Strategy, developed under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), where health will be dealt with under the "inclusive growth" chapter and will further make inputs to all other sectoral regional policies with the strategic objective to create pro-health envireonments in the SEE region for economic development and inclusive growth;

  • further improving health gains through strengthening and delivering health promoting services of high quality to all citizens by primary health care practitionals, hospitals and public health services;

  • expanding further its partnerships with new international partners;

  • further updating and strengthening its own procedural practices;

  • setting up a new communication strategy using modern technologies.
The SEE Health Network Executive Committee and Secretariat will keep on informing you of the developments as well as of the Workshop´s and Plenary Meeting´s outcomes.

Visit us on our blogspot: www.seehnsec.blogspot!

Visit also the blodspot of the SEE Regional Health Development Centre, being at the same time the SEEHN Observatory for Human Resources for Health at: http://seehrhobs.blogspot.dk/

WHO/Europe | Oslo conference on health systems and the economic crisis


17–18 April 2013, Oslo, Norway

Countries in the WHO European Region have been affected in different ways and to differing degrees by the global economic crisis. Similarly, the policy responses of governments and the overall impact on health systems and health outcomes are varied.
Four years after Norway hosted the high-level meeting “Health in times of global economic crisis: implications for the WHO European Region”, WHO brought together senior policy-makers from ministries of health, finance and health insurance funds, as well as patient organizations, international partners and researchers, to review the situation across the Region today.
The conference held on 17–18 April 2013:
  • reviewed how health systems have been affected;
  • took stock of government policy responses; and
  • assessed the overall impact of the crisis on health system outcomes.
WHO has worked with many Member States on various areas of policy to assist them in navigating through the crisis. This work, as well as an in-depth examination of selected countries and the results of a survey on how countries have responded to the crisis by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and WHO, was presented at the conference. 
Many of the conference documents, including presentations, are available in Russian.
 
For those unable to attend the conference in person, video clips of the sessions are available on this site.



WHO/Europe | Oslo conference on health systems and the economic crisis

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CORDS Inaugural Conference, 21-24 April 2013, Annecy, France


 
On 21-24 April 2013 the global network "Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance", thereafter called CORDS, had its Inaugural Conference at the Foundation Merioux Conference Centre in Annecy, France.
 
CORDS and its Conference was supported by its funding partners Bill&Melinda Gates foundation, Skoll global threats Fund and the Rockfeller Foundation.
 
Through plenaries and top-table exercises and intensive discussions the Conference achieved its objectives:
  1. to build up relationships and engagement
  2. to enhance understanding and expectations of the role of CORDS and how it will operate
  3. to begin to develop integrated global and local action plans in the areas of:
  • One Health and in-network training
  • Communication and Knowledge Management
  • Innovative operational research


 


 
  
 
 



  More about CORDS: 

Countries worldwide have committed to improving their ability to detrect, identify and respond to biological threats.
 
Connecting Organizations for Regional Diseases Surveillance (CORDS) is a unique, international non-governmental organization buiulding information exchange among surveillance networks in different areas of the world.
 
CORDS has six founding disease surveillance network members, with plan to expand over time. They are: 
  • South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN)
  • Middle East Consortium of INfectious Disease Survellance (MECIDS)
  • Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance (MBDS)
  • Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS)
  • East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network (EAIDS)
  • Asia Partnership on Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (APEIR)
 The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) all welcome the creation of CORDS.

CORDS complements existing national health systems. It undertakes activities in support to four primary objectives, which all governments seek for their health systems:
  • Improving Capacity
  • Advancing One Health
  • Promoting Innovation
  • Building Sustainable Networks
The concept, principles, goal, objectives and activities of CORDS are fully in line with the European Health Policy Health 2020 and the European Action PLan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services.

SEE Health Network and CORDS:

The SEE Health Network, particularly its sub-network on communicable diseases, is one the founding member of CORDS.

In 2007 SEEHN on communicable diseases started collaboration with MECID and together with other for regional networks they met in Bellagio.

 
In 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation (RF) supported the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) to convene a Bellagio meeting of regional surveillance networks from across the globe to initiate a dialogue about how to harness lessons learned, emerging technologies, and nascent support. Participants from many networks recognized the value in sharing approaches and strategies, while donors and other development partners recognized the opportunity to reduce fragmentation and increase efficiencies in the global surveillance space. Subsequently, RF, NTI, and existing regional surveillance networks created a community of practice, “Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance” (CORDS) (21, 22).
 
Among its first activities, the community formulated a steering group comprised of key regional network representatives to define a learning agenda. More recently, CORDS registered as a legal, non-profit international organization in Lyon, France, in 2012. CORDS convened the 1st Global Conference on Regional Disease Surveillance Networks at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference centre in 2013. Through these and other activities, CORDS is strengthening regional disease surveillance networks and global capacity for early detection and mitigation of pandemic threats.

Being a member of CORDS, the SEE Health Network both contributes to strengthening global surveillance and benefits from all opportunities CORDS can offer. thus, the SEE Health Network is increasing its collaboration with other networks, learning from their best practices, haveing the opportunity to exchange the experience and success stories with a larger public , sharing common training on ledarship, management, developing operational reasearch with other networks about important communicable diseases , establishing a regional One Health initiatve and helping cuntries use new technologies for disease surveillance, early warning and laboratories.
 
The full report of the Annecy Conference will soon be posted. More information about CORDS can be followed through its website: http://www.cordsnetwork.org/



Friday, April 26, 2013

Meeting to Develop a Five Year Proposal for Influenza Surveillance and Response, in Countries of South East Europe (SEE), 8-9 April, 2013, Tirana, Albania


On 8-9 April, the SEE Regional Health Development Centre on Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, at the National Public Health Institute of Albania in Tirana, held its regular meeting. the National Focal points of all 10 countries, Member States of the SEE Health Network were represented. The event was worganised with the technical support of WHO Regional Office for Europe who was represented by Dr. Caroline Brown, programme Manager.

The objective of the meeting was to develop a Five Year Proposal for Influenza Surveillance and Response, in Countries of South East Europe (SEE).

At the meeting each country  presented the issues and their gaps on:
1.      Influenza surveillance system,
2.      Sentinel surveillance for ILI and SARI,
3.      Description of human capacities involved in influenza surveillance,
4.      Information management system for surveillance data,
5.      Laboratory capacities and Influenza testing,
6.      National routine influenza surveillance reporting and collaboration with other sectors,
7.      National data about Influenza Disease burden,
8.      Identification of SARI and febrile illness and early identification of clusters and outbreaks,
9.      Rapid response and containment, and
10.    Pandemic preparedness.
 
Based on the countries´needs and priorities, the plenary and working group discussions and the follow-up work of the RHDC, a project will be developed and submitted to CDC for consideration and support.
 
What is FAO?
 
The US CDC Influenza division is an important partner of the Influenza & Other Respiratory Pathogens Programme at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, providing funding through a 5-year cooperative agreement and technical support. Currently, a CDC senior epidemiologist is seconded to WHO/Europe and other CDC staff provides support through trainings, missions and provision of reagents. CDC consults with WHO/Europe when new funding opportunities arise to identify potential recipient countries.
For the current Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), WHO/Europe was requested to identify 3 countries: 2 countries were identified and instead of 3rd country, WHO/Europe recommended funding be made available to the SEE network through the South East European Centre for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases, SECID. WHO/Europe saw this as an opportunity to improve surveillance and response to influenza in all SEE countries up to an agreed level, over a five-year period. As different countries are at a different level of capacity, and because the Republic of Moldova already has a bilateral Cooperative Agreement with CDC for influenza, it should be possible to agree on allocation of funds according to needs, resulting in countries receiving different amounts of funding.
Related to this, the FOA mentions only four countries specifically: Albania because the SECID would be able to receive, manage and transfer the funds to other countries, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Republic of Macedonia because these three countries do not currently have a WHO-recognized National Influenza Centre nor sentinel influenza surveillance systems. The same is true for Kosovo.
The principal intent of this assistance is to support routine influenza surveillance and build capacity to respond to and contain highly pathogenic viruses transmissible among humans.  A second intent is to support the development of epidemiologic, virologic, and related capacity to detect, respond to, and monitor changes in influenza viruses, as well as identify outbreaks of severe respiratory illness syndromes.  A third intent is to help strengthen the connections between national institutions in different countries, especially National Influenza Centres, to more fully participate in the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), and become more capable of sharing specimens and clinical and epidemiologic data on disease related to the circulation of influenza in more countries.
WHO/Europe considers the CDC FOA as a great opportunity for SEE countries to develop a 5 year proposal for collaboration in the area of influenza surveillance and response. WHO/Europe proposes that the SEE countries develop a proposal based on the principles that there would be funding allocated to the different countries according to needs that are measured against the outputs described on page 3 of the FOA.
 








Sunday, April 21, 2013

Observatory Studues Series 29: The Changing National Role in Health Systems Governance


The European Observatory of Health Systems and Policies has just published its Study Series 29 which looks at the changing role of national governments in the governance of the health system.

This study of 12 countries provides an overview of recent changes in national governments’ role in the governance of health systems, focusing on efforts to reconfigure responsibilities for health policy, regulation and management; the resultant policy priorities; and the initial impact. The shift in responsibilities shows little uniform direction: a number of countries have centralized certain areas of decision-making or regulation but decentralized others. The study reviews common trends, based on the country cases, and assesses potential future developments.
Executive summary
 
This study provides an overview of recent changes in the national government’s role in the governance of the health systems in 12 countries. Country assessments focus on recent efforts to reconfigure responsibilities for health policy, regulation and management; the resultant policy priorities; and the initial impact. The assessment also reflects current debate in order to provide a perspective for potential changes in future governance arrangements. A short review of common trends is based on the country cases.

The study was conducted by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies at the request of the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The methodology facilitated a rapid response to this request – conducted through a combination of reviews of recent Observatory publications followed by telephone interviews with key experts in each survey country. However, the study should be interpreted as only an initial assessment of ongoing and wide-ranging changes in health sector governance arrangements in Europe and beyond.

The changes in governance arrangements in the countries studied involve a wide range of measures but show no clear uniform direction for the resulting shifts in responsibilities. In a number of countries, recent reforms have centralized certain areas of decision-making or regulation but decentralized others – although the former has been more prevalent. Central governments have been seeking greater control of decision-making in countries with traditionally decentralized decision-making structures (including Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway and Sweden). One core objective for the extension of central government authority is better alignment of subnational health administrations and other health actors towards common strategies, visions and national objectives. These new approaches often seek better targeting of increasingly constrained human and financial resources. Arguably, a smaller number of the reviewed countries have been pursuing a more collaborative approach. Spain (until summer 2012) has relied on various
cooperative mechanisms to tackle problems in the level, and the uneven distribution, of health care financing and provision that reflect the strong role of its 17 regions. France has increased the regions’ remit for strategic health services planning. Switzerland is reinforcing the role of the cantons in some
policy areas related to insurance and care provision and is re-emphasizing market conditions amongst insurers. However, the central government is also strengthening both the monitoring of private insurers and the coordination of standards for quality of care and disease prevention. Some countries also have sought to simplify their governance structures by merging health insurers (Germany) or regional and local governmental structures (Denmark, England, Finland). The Netherlands has placed health insurers in the driving seat for many decisions related to the financing and provision of care."
 
 
The interested readers can find the full text including the case studies and experiences of the analysed 12 countries through WHO/Europe website. Use the link below:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-publish/abstracts/changing-national-role-in-health-system-governance-the.-a-case-based-study-of-11-european-countries-and-australia

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New WHO/Europe publication: Exploring patient participation in reducing health care related risks


ABSTRACT

 
Patients’ rights have been formulated in a number of documents and guidelines from various international bodies. Laws and declarations on patients’ rights do not automatically make health care safer, but can help to empower patients. Empowered patients are in a better position to manage their own health and health care and to participate in efforts to improve safety. The report presents an overview of legal aspects influencing patient safety and describes examples of patient involvement. It highlights the need to strengthen a continuum of information between various levels of care, including patient experiences, health literacy and engagement. The work is expected to contribute to the wider process of evidence collation aimed at finding efficient ways to build realistic and informed expectations of health care, while encouraging patients to be vigilant and knowledgeable to ensure maximum safety standards. Recommendations are formulated with respect to the macro, meso and micro levels of health service delivery.


Ms. Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director, WHO/Europe highlights:


Foreword

Health is a social value and an individual right. It generates economic benefits for countries and is a prerequisite for national development and individual well-being. Member States of the WHO European Region are addressing major health challenges posed by demographic and epidemiological change, widening socioeconomic disparities, limited resources, technological developments and rising public expectations. Evidence continues to show that addressing the quality and safety of care is one of the main entry points to strengthening health services and contributing to wider population access and coverage.

Regulation and targeted interventions focused on health service redesign are necessary, but not sufficient, to ensuring increased quality, better compliance with safety standards and a well-trained health workforce. Health technology assessments provide evidence of the clinical and  cost−effectiveness of new operational tools and a wealth of information on health and health-related interventions and technologies is currently available for policy-makers, health professionals and the general public. Accurate understanding of this information can help patients and providers to prevent and cure disease through increasing treatment compliance and enabling recognition of safety failures in systems.

The new WHO European policy framework, Health 2020, supports action across government and society for health and well-being and emphasizes the role of good health in ensuring economic and social development. The capacity of each individual to contribute to improving his or her health status should drive effective dialogue with health professionals and create mechanisms for increasing safety and improving compliance with prevention and care interventions.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe is committed to supporting investment in health to address current and future challenges in maintaining and increasing the health status of populations, working in collaboration with national and international partners within the WHO global patient safety strategic framework. In this context, participation of the healthliterate patient is seen as being at the core of the whole-of-society approach to better health that we promote.
 
If you would like to read and download the full report, please visit WHO/Europe website:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/Health-systems/patient-safety/publications2/2013/exploring-patient-participation-in-reducing-health-care-related-safety-risks

Monday, April 15, 2013

SEE Countries´news: Early warning system for cold-waves established in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia



Photo: WHO
 
 
Cold weather, especially extreme temperatures, can threaten health. Recognizing that the health sector must prepare for and help mitigate the adverse health effects of cold-waves, the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with WHO support, developed an action plan for prevention of the harmful effects of cold weather.

Implementation began in December 2012 with the establishment of an early warning system in which the health sector, the Hydrometeorological Institute and other organizations collaborate to ensure the timely announcement of cold-waves.

You can follow the full information at:
http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/Climate-change/news/news/2013/04/early-warning-system-for-cold-waves-established-in-the-former-yugoslav-republic-of-macedonia

SEE Countries´News: Policy dialogue on health service delivery in the Republic of Moldova – from evidence to practice

 
Policy dialogue in Republic of Moldova, 14–15 March 2013. Photo: WHO

A policy dialogue on health service delivery, with an emphasis on primary health care (PHC) and access to services was held in the Republic of Moldova on 14-15 March 2013. The event was organized by the Ministry of Health with WHO/Europe support and brought together the main stakeholders in the field.

Read more about the event on:
http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/Health-systems/health-service-delivery/news/news/2013/03/policy-dialogue-on-health-service-delivery-in-the-republic-of-moldova-from-evidence-to-practice

Besides, there are series of valuable recent reports and analysis that might be interesting and useful for all colleagues from the SEE Health Network. Find the links below:



Friday, April 12, 2013

AN EXTREMELY INSPIRING REPORT: HEALTH IN THE POST-2015 AGENDA

Final report - health in the post-2015 development agenda
The final report of the Thematic Consultation on Health in the post 2015 development agenda is now finalised. The task team would like to thank all global, regional and national stakeholders who contributed to this consultation by taking part in meetings, contributing papers, joining e discussions, and commenting on the various versions of the report. Please share the report widely!
 
From the Executive Summary:
 
Between September 2012 and March 2013 the Global Thematic Consultation on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda received inputs from people and organizations around the world on how best to ensure the health of future generations.

The objectives for the consultation were: (i) to stimulate wide-ranging discussion at global, regional, and country levels on progress made and lessons learnt from the MDGs relating to health; (ii) to discuss and develop a shared understanding among Member States, UN agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders on the positioning of health in the post-2015 development framework; and (iii) to propose health goals and related targets and indicators for the post-2015 development agenda, as well as approaches for implementation, measurement, and monitoring.
 
Over 150,000 people from all regions visited the consultation website (www.worldwewant2015.org/health). Over 100 papers were submitted by a wide range of organizations and authors, and 14 face-to-face meetings attracted over 1,600 people in places as far apart as La Paz, Dar es Salaam, Abuja, Amsterdam, New York, Beijing, and Bangkok. The papers and meeting reports are available on the consultation website.
The health sector has led the development success of the MDG era and created an unprecedented opportunity to achieve even more after 2015. The health MDGs have raised the profile of global health to the highest political level, mobilized civil society, increased development assistance for health, and contributed to considerable improvements in health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.

The report was finalized after the High Level Dialogue, Gaborone, Botswana, 4-6 March 2013.
 
 














The High Level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place in Gaborone, Botswana, from 4-6 March, 2013, and was hosted by the Government of Botswana and brought together 50 high level participants including Ministers of Health, members of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons and their representatives, Heads of international organizations, representatives from civil society and the private sector, academics, public health experts, and youth. The outcomes of the meeting have informed the final report of the Health Thematic Consultation.
You can read and download the Final Report from the Global Thematic Consultation on Health e-Platform at: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/health 





 
 


 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Observatory Venice Summer School 2013: Innovative Ways of Improving Population Health

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies is inviting public health professionals from Europe to its Summer School in Venice in 2013.


Background:
European countries increasingly recognize the importance of population health interventions in national health policy. Too often though, public health runs along traditional lines, drawing on established knowledge and training but overlooking key developments and issues such as:

· The new contextual challenges posed by the economic crisis, emerging environmental threats and changes in health behaviours;
· Improvements in measurement of health needs, risks, health outcomes and performance;
· New evidence on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of fiscal, regulatory and behavioural interventions on health determinants;
· Technological advances in human genomics and biomarkers; information systems and social communication;
· Innovations in organization and skill mix.

Objectives:
The Summer School will build on participants’ own knowledge and expertise in public health and marshal the latest evidence on new developments to

( I ) Provide a state of the art account of innovative strategies to improve population health
( II ) Assess the implications of improved measurement (of burden of disease, determinants of health; health outcomes and well-being) for both old and new challenges;
( III ) Interpret what innovative interventions mean for improving population health; and
( IV ) Draw practical policy and implementation lessons to deliver better public health interventions.

Faculty:
The Summer School will involve a group of expert lecturers and facilitators from international organizations and centres of expertise and will be led by

Reinhard Busse (European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and Berlin University of Technology) as Director

Martin McKee European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) as Co-Director

Applicants/participants:
Summer School is primarily aimed at senior to mid-level policy-makers, with some junior professionals. All participants should be working in a decision-making or advisory institution (government, nongovernmental, health institute, insurance board or association, regulator, hospital federation or other professional body) that focuses on policy and management at a regional, national or European level.

How to apply:
For more information and the application form please see the Summer School website:
http://www.observatorysummerschool.org/index.php


Please send any questions regarding the Summer School to the following email: summerschool2013@obs.euro.who.int
For more information please follow the link:         

The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies supports and promotes evidence-based health policy-making through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health care systems in Europe.
     
The Observatory is a partnership between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the Veneto Region of Italy, The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, UNCAM (French National Union of Health Insurance Funds), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
     
Visit the Observatory´s web site http://www.healthobservatory.eu
Consult the Observatory privacy statement at http://www.euro.who.int/en/home/projects/observatory/admin/privacy-statement


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Presentation: Health 2020: a new European policy framework for health and well-being

An excellent presentation of WHO Regional Office for Europe!

See it for yourself:

http://www.euro.who.int/en/who-we-are/regional-director/speeches-and-presentations-by-year/2013/presentation-health-2020-a-new-european-policy-framework-for-health-and-well-being

Congratulations!

Special congratulations to all dear colleagues and friends of the SEE Health Network on the occasion of the World Health Day!

Special congratulations to all colleagues all over the world who follow us through this blog!

The SEE Health  Network Executive Committee and Secretariat wish all health workers strength, enery, dedication and enthusiasm to continue our noble work for the health of the people everywhere!