Chapter 1: Overview
Aims and target audiences
The European health report is issued every three years as a flagship publication by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The main aims of this 2015 report are to:
- report on progress towards the Health 2020 targets in the Region so far;
- highlight new frontiers in health information and evidence to be addressed in the coming years to optimize health monitoring for Health 2020 and beyond, including subjective well-being measurements.
Given the strong focus on progress towards the Health 2020 policy targets, policy-makers are the main target audience for this report.
The Health 2020 monitoring framework
Health 2020 was adopted as the new European health policy framework in 2012 by the 53 Member States in the Region during the sixty-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Its four priority areas are to:
- invest in health through a life-course approach and empower citizens;
- tackle Europe's major disease burdens of noncommunicable and communicable diseases;
- strengthen people-centred health systems and public health capacity, including preparedness and response capacity for dealing with emergencies;
- create supportive environments and resilient communities.
Progress towards the Health 2020 targets
Chapter 2 assesses the extent to which progress has been made towards the targets defined in the Health 2020 monitoring framework, using the 2010 baseline set by countries as a reference point. It describes regional trends and intercountry differences for the Health 2020 core indicators. In some instances additional indicators are also described to provide a more comprehensive picture.
Well-being and its cultural contexts
Health 2020 covers three main areas, one of which includes well-being. Chapter 3 presents findings and questions to be addressed to develop this new area of public health. What has become clear, however, is that well-being measuring and monitoring activities have their own specific challenges, as they involve not only objective but also subjective measures.
New frontiers in health information and evidence
Chapter 4 examines the need for further health information and evidence to improve monitoring of the implementation and impact of Health 2020. It summarizes the challenges and opportunities identified in Chapters 2–3 and places these in a broader context by addressing information and evidence needs beyond Health 2020 and establishing links with existing work and promising developments in the Region.