Greece takes critical step forward in defining service package for Primary Health Care


Continuing its efforts to support medium-term reform priorities in the Greek health sector, WHO/Europe held a scoping mission to Greece on 27 January–2 February 2016 to assist in developing a package of services for furthering primary health care (PHC). The mission took place under the "Strengthening capacity for universal coverage" (SCUC) initiative and brought together senior members of the Greek Ministry of Health, representatives from WHO/Europe and other key decision makers involved in PHC reform.

The agenda included meetings and discussions to develop and produce a service package for implementation by the Neighbourhood Family Health Units (NFHUs), the basic unit of the future primary health care system that will provide health services at community level. Separately, the joint team visited the clinic of the National Primary Healthcare Network (PEDY) in Nea Filadelfeia – the pilot area for rolling out the PHC network – and initiated dialogue on the services to be provided under future organizational arrangements with the local core group of decision makers which included the Director of the PEDY clinic, the Deputy Mayor for Social Policy, Protection and Promotion of Public Health and Responsible for matters of Municipality Unity of Nea Filadelfeia, and representatives of personnel and administration.

The mission concluded with a wrap-up meeting, organized by the Greek Ministry of Health on 2 February, which included a presentation on the mission's findings and good practices in the region, and a successive participatory identification of the main modules of the service package for NFHUs. The involved participants also reached agreement on the way forward for finalizing the service package and making it available to the pilot units, the modalities of work, and the communication channels in the coming months.


The SCUC action is carried out with funding by the European Union through a grant agreement between the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The general objective of the action is to contribute to improving health and health equity in Greece, especially among the most vulnerable in the crisis-stricken population, by helping the Greek authorities move towards universal coverage and strengthen the effectiveness, efficiency and resilience of their health system.