Dr Hans Kluge

Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health


The Division assists countries in the WHO European Region in designing, adopting and implementing comprehensive health systems and public health policies, strategies and tools in line with the values of solidarity, equity and participation in order to achieve universal health coverage for better health outcomes.


Strengthening health systems and public health services is at the core of WHO’s work with countries and with the regional and global health community. An effective response requires a systemic approach that encompasses not only action to enhance health care services but also measures on disease prevention, healthy lifestyles, and the social determinants of health. For the most efficient use of scarce resources, preventive measures must take a more prominent role than before, strengthening the public health elements of health systems, and promoting and advancing health in all policies.

Specific areas of work to support countries include:

  • primary health care – generating evidence for policy development in primary care, so that strategic information can underpin the organization of primary care;
  • public health services – putting public health high on the political agenda;
  • health financing – improving the financing of health systems and, through this, the overall performance of the health system;
  • governance – developing a vision for health, building national capacities to realize that vision, and assisting in national health planning and health reforms;
  • health workforce – ensuring an available, competent, responsive and productive health workforce in order to improve health outcomes;
  • health care quality – improving the quality of health care, of which patient safety is a crucial part; and
  • health technologies and pharmaceuticals – improving public access to essential medicines and medical devices where this is limited.


Dr Hans Kluge is a Belgian-trained medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health. Having worked in Somalia, Liberia and Siberia (in the prison system), and been based in the WHO Country Office in Myanmar and in the WHO Office of the Special Representative of the Director-General in the Russian Federation, Dr Kluge has a broad background in health systems, public health and infectious diseases.

He moved to WHO/Europe in 2009, beginning as unit head for country policies and systems and has since worked as the Special Representative of the Regional Director to prevent and combat M/XDR-TB in the WHO European Region and most recently as Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health.