WHO/Europe to assist Greece in pharmaceutical health care pricing

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Dr Hans Kluge, WHO/Europe

WHO/Europe has responded positively to a request from the Greek Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity to provide technical assistance in the field of pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals and other public health areas based on a joint assessment. This was announced by Dr Hans Kluge, Director of the Division of Health Systems and Public Health, at a conference about the future of health care in Greece held in Athens on 20 March 2012.

Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the WHO Regional Director for Europe, he reminded the audience about the social values to which Member States have committed through the 2008 Tallinn Charter and explained how it links to the new European policy for health, Health 2020.

Dr Kluge shared regional experiences of increasing the efficiency of health care and public health, including in the pharmaceutical and hospital sectors. Highlighting the need to protect the poor and vulnerable, he urged conference participants not to forget the quality of care, and the need to involve patients and the community. Protecting the health workforce is of paramount importance, especially in the areas of nursing and midwifery.

Participants at the conference included Nikolaos Polyzos, Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity; Athina Dretta, Secretary General, Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Georgette Lalis, head of the European Commission Task Force for Greece; Athanasios Papamichos, Chairman of the Board, Hellenic Association of Health Services Management; and John Kyriopoulos, Chairman of the Conference Scientific Committee, and Dean and Professor at the National School of Public Health, Athens, as well as representatives of patient organizations and members of parliament.

The conference was organized by the Financial Times, under the auspices of the Greek National School of Public Health and in association with the Hellenic Association of Health Services Management.