New perspectives for public health services partnerships in the Republic of Moldova: transposing Norwegian experience

A delegation from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova and representatives of the newly created National Public Health Agency visited the Ministry of Health and Care Services of Norway and other public health institutions on 19–23 March 2018.

The study visit aimed to review the progress of ongoing activities and explore common areas of interest in public health for further collaboration. During the visit, the Moldovan delegation learned about the scope, role and functioning of public health services as part of the health system in Norway, and its integration at national and municipality levels.

The agenda included discussions and presentations on:

  • the responsibilities of the Department of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Care Services;
  • health in all policies as a population-level approach to health;
  • legislation, regulations and licensing of alcohol prevention policy;
  • wine monopolies and tax duties; and
  • policies to promote physical activity.

The delegation visited the municipality of Drammen and received briefings on the work of the Child Care Centre (Hugo Limkjaer); cooperation between the municipality and the local police; the early intervention team; the Youth Guidance Office; and other relevant information.

Ongoing public health service reform in the Republic of Moldova

During the meeting at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Moldovan delegation shared its plans for the newly restructured National Public Health Agency. Aliona Serbulenco, State Secretary for Public Health, explained: “The public health service in the Republic of Moldova is currently focused on implementation of the essential public health operations, such as surveillance of public health, disease prevention, and health protection and promotion. The Nordic model is one of the best to learn from to assure equitable, quality and sustainable access to public health services.”

Norwegian colleagues shared their experience in addressing topics such as public health profiles as an instrument for public health intervention planning; the role of systematic reviews and health technology assessment; and informed health choices. A special session was dedicated to progress achieved through collaboration among public health institutions, including current collaboration status and future plans.

The study visit builds on the tripartite memorandum of understanding signed between the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the National Public Health Agency of the Republic of Moldova and WHO/Europe in March 2018. The document aims to strengthen institutional collaboration to improve public health and preparedness through knowledge exchange, technical collaboration and projects.