WHO Country Office

The WHO Country Office is the focal point for WHO activities in Estonia. The priorities for the Country Office are set out in the biennial collaborative agreement between WHO/Europe and the host country, and the Office implements the agreement in close collaboration with national institutions and international partner agencies. The WHO Country Office in Estonia was established in 1993 in Tallinn to fulfil the objectives of WHO's country presence. The country team consists of two people, the Head of Country Office and an administrative assistant.

More specifically, the role of a WHO/Europe country office is to respond to requests from the host country to support policy-making for sustainable health development, taking a holistic health-system approach. This includes providing guidance, building up local relationships to implement technical cooperation, making standards and agreements, and ensuring that public health measures are coordinated and in place during crises. WHO/Europe has supported health system development in Estonia since 1991. During the 1990s, it supported health care reform in close collaboration with national authorities and international partners such as the World Bank. WHO is one of the few international agencies with permanent representation in Estonia.

The main areas of cooperation have been:

  • technical support in key areas of reform
  • evaluation of the changes in the last decade
  • knowledge sharing, to learn from other countries' experience.

These areas were selected to support the further fine-tuning of Estonia's complex health system, to improve its performance. A strategic focus and health-systems approach have been applied, focusing especially on the outcomes and long-term sustainability of the health system.