The meeting was organized by the SEE Health Network Executive Committee and Secretariat with the excellent and full support by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova.
Over 40 representatives of the 10 countries, Member States of the SEE Health Network and their partners, the Council of Europe, the International Organization for Migration, the Regional Cooperation Council, the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services, Project Hope, the European Health Forum Bad Gadstein, the Regional Center for Policy Analysis and Research "Studiorum", Slovenia, Switzerland and WHO Regional Office for Europe participated actively in the discussions that lead to important deliberations and decisions.
The Network signed two new Memoranda of Understanding for collaboration with the International Organization of Migration and with the Regional Center for Policy Analysis and Research "Studiorum". This is an important step forward in the partnership policy and practice for the Network which will further enhance their joint effort to boost up health development in the region.
Report on the SEE Health Network activities during the Presidency of the Republic of Moldova
Dr. Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, Republic of Moldova, presented the main activities and achievements of the Network in the period 01 January - 30 June 2013. Among all, several major events have to be highlighted:
- The Inauguration of the SEE Health Network new Secretariat in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia on 07 March 2013; the fact, by itsself, that the Network already has its own legal entity is a major breakthrough in the development towards full ownership, independence and sustainability of the regional collaboration for better health under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC); of course, much more need to be done to have the Secretariat fully operational and the representatives urged the SEE Health Network Governments to complete the process of making their yearly financial contributions as stupulated by the signed memorandum of Understanding of 2008, as well as to facilitated the process of recruiting international staff;
The Representatives expressed their sincere gratitude to WHO Regional Office for Europe and specifically to Ms. Zsuzsanna Jacab, Regional Director for the never failing continuous support to the SEE Health Network;
The representatives thanked the ministries of health of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, republic of Moldova and the Republic of Macedonia for transferring their financial contributions for 2013 to the SEEHN Secretarita´s bank account;
The continuous support of Belgium, Slovenia and Switzerland was also highly commended particularly in view of their financial and in-kind support for both the Secretariat and the activities for implemening the Banja Luka Pledge;
The Representative acknowledged highly the pro-active work of the designated Regional Health Development Centres in Albania (on communicable diseases surveillance and control), in Bosnia and Herzegovina (on mental health), in Croatia (on organ transplantation and donation), in the Republic of Moldova (on health workforce) and in the Republic of Serbia (on accreditation and quality of health services).
The 31st Plenary discussed the draft Health Chapter to be incorporated into the Inclusive Growth pillar of the SEE 2020 Growth Strategy. The latter is in the process of development under the auspices of the SEE regional Cooperation process and the Regional Cooperation Council and is expected to be endorsed by the SEE Governments in October 2013.
The Health aspects of the SEE 2020 Growth Strategy were developed by an ad-hoc SEEHN Working Group with participation of senior experts from Croatia, Romania, WHO Regional Office for Europe and the RCC under the chairmanship of the Chair of the SEEHN Executive Committee. It was based on the findings and defined priorities of a snapshot analysis of the current state of Health Policy development and implementation in all 10 SEEHN Member States. This work was also inspired by the WHO Europe Health 2020 Policy Framework and the European Action PLan on Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services, endorsed by all 53 European countries during the WHO Europe Regional Committee 62nd Session in September 2012 in Malta.
Recognizing that health is not just a value in itself - it is also a driver for growth; that only a healthy population can achieve its full economic potential; that keeping people healthy and active for longer has a positive impact on productivity and competitiveness; that innovation in healthcare helps take up the challenge of sustainability in the sector in the context of demographic change’, and that action to reduce inequalities in health is important to achieve ‘inclusive growth;
Strongly believing that health needs to be transformed from being perceived merely as a medically dominated, money-consuming sector to a major public good bringing economic and security benefits and contributing to attainment of key social objectives as there is now a broad consensus that the health of populations is critical for social coherence and economic growth and a vital resource for human and social development,
The full text of the Health Chapter to the SEE 2020 Growth Strategy will be posted in the coming months as it is currently subject to multi-governmental consultation process.
Another major decision was taken in relation to the multi-partner joint proposal for action in the 10 SEE countries. The partners are: the SEE Health Network, the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services, Project Hope, the Regional Cepter for Policy Analysis and Research "Studiorum" and WHO Regional Office of Europe.
- Finalizing the process of the financial yearly contributions of all the SEEHN Member States;
- Starting the process of selecting and recruitment of the international staff for the SEEHN Secretariat in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia;
- Consultation and endorsement of the SEE 2020 Growth Startegy where health aspects will be incorporated in most of its main pillars, including the Free Trade area, Governance, Inclusive Growth, etc.
- A number of technical regional workshops in the areas of patients´ safety, scaled up delivery of health promoting services, reducing salt in food products for prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, health workforce strangthening with primary focus on nursing, antimicrobial resistance, etc.
- The 32nd Plenary Meeting of the SEE Health Network in November 2013 in Montenegro with focus on Noncommunicable diseases prevention and control;
- Further representation of the SEE Health Network at various international Fora, such as the WHO Europe 63rd Session of the Regional Committee and the European Health Forum Bad Gadstein.