WHO/Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies have launched a new series of reports that provide key information and data on health systems in non-European Union (EU) countries of the WHO European Region.
The new ‘Health Systems in Action Insights’ are pilot reports that cover the 5 countries of Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Insights will support these countries with the latest information on progress and challenges in their national health systems, while building a baseline so they can track the progress of their health systems over time. Crucially, the reports will also allow countries to see their health systems in a wider comparative context and learn from each other.
The Insights follow a common template that provides analysis and detailed guidance on financing and resourcing health systems, key health challenges, health workforce availability and training, and a spotlight on the impact of COVID-19 on national health services.
“In a concise and digestible way, the new reports include important insights and information on how countries’ health systems are faring across key areas such as financial protection, access to essential services and primary care,” said Dr Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Director of Country Health Policies and Systems at WHO/Europe. “This new set of data will be key as countries move forward with strengthening and rebuilding their health systems beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Insights for each country:
provide concise and accessible data on health systems;highlight progress and challenges facing national health systems;build a baseline so that countries can assess how their health systems develop over time and in relation to other countries; andexplain the context in which the country’s health system is addressing the priorities of the WHO European Programme of Work (EPW), United Action for Better Health.Assessing progress at the national levelThe 5 countries in the pilot series are currently planning events at the national level to use the Insights as they begin to recover from the pandemic. If you are interested in learning more, please email [email protected]
Dr Jihane Tawilah, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in North Macedonia, said the report is more than a public health reference. “It is a soft intelligence tool that offers an insider’s acumen of North Macedonia’s health system, as well as the national approaches, challenges, and particularly the country’s main experiences and successes that are otherwise difficult to access from usual publications.”
“As a reliable evidence-based document with clear alignment with the EPW, it represents a strong foothold for WHO’s work at the country level,” she added. “The analysis will support further important national policy discussions on key health topics within the health sector and beyond, with international partners and national stakeholders.”
“Health systems in all countries are being tested by the impact of the coronavirus,” noted Dr Gundo Weiler, Director of Country Support, Emergency Preparedness and Response at WHO/Europe. “The pandemic is reshaping the health landscape in our Region. We hope the reports will help Member States to draw on experiences across Europe. New data and evidence can be used to inform discussion, prioritize needs, and point to opportunities for additional action.”
“The collaborative nature of the reports is a particular strength,” added Dr Weiler. “It’s a joint effort of expert teams in the Observatory in Brussels and WHO/Europe in Copenhagen, but also in our Country Offices which were instrumental in giving a practical dimension to these studies.”