Croatian minister visits WHO/Europe
Dr Rajko Ostojić, Minister of Health of Croatia, met with Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, on 24 September 2012 to discuss the country’s role as a member of the WHO Executive Board, as well as current health issues, including its new health development strategy for 2012–2020, membership in the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) and experience in antimicrobial-resistance control and epidemiological surveillance.
The Croatian Government endorsed the new health development strategy earlier in September. It plans to change the current model for health-service delivery by rationalizing acute hospital capacity, increasing outpatient services and taking better and cheaper options for long term and social care. The strategy is in line with Health 2020, the newly endorsed European policy for health and well-being.
In the next three months, the Government plans to implement action plans on palliative care, hospitals, and information and e-health. Further, it will develop an action plan to remedy shortages in the health workforce. Discussions focused on how WHO/Europe can provide technical support for these action plans.
Croatia is a member of SEEHN and held its presidency in the first six months of 2012. During that time, it organized a ministerial conference on organ donation and transplantation, and the country seeks to expand its work and cooperation with WHO in this field.
Finally, the Ministry of Health is working to increase and share its capacity in communicable diseases (notably the control of antimicrobial resistance) and in the strengthening of epidemiological surveillance of emerging diseases that threaten public health, such as dengue fever, West Nile virus and chikungunya.