Regional Director and Prime Minister of Republic of Moldova discuss status of health system reforms

WHO/Igor Vrabie

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Mr Pavel Filip on 25 November 2016. The Regional Director’s visit provided an opportunity to reaffirm the strong relations between WHO/Europe and the Republic of Moldova, to discuss the achievements being made in the health sector and to look forward to addressing shared priorities and challenges.

The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to WHO for its continuous support for health sector reforms and the development of strategic documents regarding the modernization of the health sector. He highlighted, in particular, the recent technical support provided by WHO in relation to harmonization legislation in the pharmaceutical sector, which is part of the European acquis communitaire – the collection of legislation, legal acts and court decisions that constitute European Union law.

“The health sector represents a priority for the Government, and for me personally,” said Mr Filip. “I have been very involved in reforming the health sector, and it is gratifying to see progress being made in areas such as improving the quality of medical services and ensuring affordable prices for essential medicines.” The Regional Director emphasized the importance of the Prime Minister’s leadership on health issues and assured him of ongoing support from WHO.

The meeting, which was held following a visit from Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark to the Republic of Moldova on 23–25 November 2016, focused on the following topics:

  • health sector reforms, particularly hospital regionalization and reform of the health services delivery model;
  • policies on medicines and medical devices, and further reforms in this sector following the adoption of a new law on medicines that is fully harmonized with the European acquis communitaire;
  • the implementation of provisions of the country’s tobacco control law;
  • the harmful use of alcohol and potential interventions, including fiscal policies;
  • the burden of noncommunicable diseases; and
  • the development of a national strategy and action plan for the control of antimicrobial resistance and the need for an intersectoral approach to tackle this public health threat.

Ensuring sustainable development of the health sector

The Regional Director congratulated the Prime Minister on progress made by the Ministry of Health in the areas of immunization and maternal and child health. Infant mortality rates have dropped by half over the last 15 years in the Republic of Moldova, and maternal mortality is following the same trend.

In 2016 the country also received WHO validation for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of syphilis – an outstanding achievement that other countries in the Region can follow. “Moldova is a small country and can more easily manage the challenges involved with reforming health systems. You can count on WHO’s support in ensuring sustainable development of the health sector and the reforms needed to guarantee the sustainability and quality of medical services,” stressed Dr Jakab.  

The Republic of Moldova continues to improve population health status and equity, and to reform its health sector by implementing the European health policy framework Health 2020 with support from WHO. Universal health coverage and patient-centred services are high on the agenda for health authorities in the country; this approach fully aligns with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, which promote sustainable socioeconomic development and equity as well as health and well-being for all people, leaving no one behind.