Health system reform and obesity discussed during visit from Minister of Health of Croatia

WHO/Oluf Christoffersen

WHO Regional Director for Europe with Dr Dario Nakic, the Minister of Health of Croatia.

On 29 April 2016, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, hosted a meeting with Dr Dario Nakic, Minister of Health of Croatia, at UN City in Copenhagen. Dr Jakab congratulated Dr Nakic on his new role within the Croatian government, and they engaged in a productive conversation about cooperation between WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health of Croatia as outlined in the 2016–2017 Biennial Collaborative Agreement. 

Dr Nakic described important reform measures taking place within the country, including a restructuring of the hospital health care system. He focused on the need to strengthen primary health care, and Dr Jakab emphasized the importance of creating people-centred health systems. They also discussed the issues of tobacco, alcohol, obesity and physical activity. Obesity in particular is a growing problem in Croatia, and Dr Nakic explained that the government aims to increase the level of physical activity required in school programmes.

Additionally, the Regional Director and Minister of Health discussed an upcoming conference in July. The high-level conference in Dubrovnik will be jointly hosted by WHO and the Ministry of Health and will focus on the topic of noncommunicable diseases and health tourism. They also addressed the migrant crisis and the importance of including migrants in the country's national immunization programme.

The meeting offered a chance to discuss a range of health topics, as well as enhanced collaboration between WHO/Europe and Croatia. Dr Ružica Palić Kramarić, Assistant Minister of Health for the Hospital Sector, accompanied the Minister of Health for the meeting.