WHO/Europe and World Bank collaborate on study of health systems

Since 1990, eastern Europe and central Asia have made significantly lower gains in life expectancy than any group of middle- or high-income countries. They have also made little progress in providing financial protection against uncertain and costly health payments: a key objective of health systems.

To address these challenges, particularly as the economic crisis places additional financial constraints on governments and individuals, WHO/Europe is supporting the World Bank in a results-based assessment of the health systems in countries in eastern Europe and central Asia. The overall objective is to suggest ways to achieve better results.

Dr Abdo Yazbeck, Manager, Health Sector, Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank, is visiting WHO/Europe on 11–12 October 2010 to discuss continued collaboration, and WHO’s contribution to the health-system study.

WHO/Europe has worked with the World Bank for many years, and the two signed a memorandum of understanding in 2002. Both are founding partners of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Other areas of collaboration include building capacity to strengthen health systems and conducting performance assessments and policy dialogues on health systems at the international and country levels.