Strengthening public health capacities and services in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


At the request of the Ministry of Health, a WHO fact-finding team visited the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 12–15 November 2013 to assess current public health policies and priorities. Dr Maria Ruseva and Dr Richard Alderslade met with key policy- and decision-makers, public health experts and other stakeholders and made recommendations that will assist the country in development of a Public Health Action Plan. This multi-stakeholder Plan will be part of the comprehensive National Health Operational Plan 2020.

Improved efficiency and outcomes

Attempting to meet growing health care demands using state-of-the-art treatments can potentially overwhelm health systems while still leaving large parts of a population on the margins of care. Governments must therefore explore a more cost-efficient, easy-to-implement, broad-based approach with interventions that not only save lives but also promote healthy lifestyles – thereby contributing to more healthy life years at affordable cost.

Development of a national Public Health Action Plan marks the beginning of a restructuring process in line with the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services (EAP). The restructured system will maximize the added value of evidence-based cost-effective interventions and “best-buy” measures proposed in the EAP.

The fact-finding mission was part of WHO technical support requested by the Ministry based on priorities set in the biennial collaborative agreement 2014-2015.