Regional Director visits Republic of Moldova: health reforms on right track

WHO

From left: Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative, Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Andrei Usatii, Minister of Health, at press conference during official visit to the Republic of Moldova, June 2012
Ms Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, met with Mr Vladimir Filat, Prime Minister; Dr Andrei Usatîi, Minister of Health; and other senior members of the Government during an official visit to the Republic of Moldova on 3–5 June 2012. She also took part in a policy workshop on health-system development, and met with representatives of the European Union and United Nations, and health-service providers.

Health reform

Discussions with the Ministry of Health focused on the achievements and challenges of the health sector.

“I am really impressed with the work done so far in the health sector and the approaches used. The Republic of Moldova has managed to preserve good practices from the past, such as maintaining high immunization coverage, while at the same time moving towards a modern health system, with a focus on family medicine, mandatory health insurance and comprehensive public health services,” said Ms Jakab during the meeting.

According to Ms Jakab, the remaining challenges include:

  • redefining the role of hospitals by addressing inefficiencies and ensuring a proper response to population’s needs;
  • addressing the complex problems caused by tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS; and
  • moving forward in tackling noncommunicable diseases and their main risk factors, including tobacco, alcohol, poor nutrition and inactivity.

Dr Andrei Usatîi explained that health is a high priority for the Government, and thanked WHO for its continuous support and guidance.

Policy workshop

Ms Jakab gave a presentation during a policy workshop, held at the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University and attended by over 200 policy-makers, health managers and academics. The presentation addressed health-care reforms and improving health indicators in the framework of the new European health policy, Health 2020. Discussions at the workshop focused on health policies and legal frameworks, service provision, financing, human resources for health, equity issues and the social determinants of health.

Visit to health-service providers

During Ms Jakab’s visit to the University’s Clinic for Primary Health Care, staff explained the overall concept of family medicine in the country, its history, main achievements and remaining challenges. Ms Jakab also met staff at the National Centre of Public Health, who explained how the health service had been reformed following the approval of new legislation on public health services in late 2009, to include control of noncommunicable diseases and implementation of the International Health Regulations. In addition, she toured the main reference laboratories located at the Centre and the national immunization programme’s storage facilities.