Tallinn Charter: Health Systems for Health and Wealth, WHO/Europe 2008






The Tallinn Conference, organized by WHO/Europe and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Estonia, was a major turning point in the evolution of public health. Specifically it:

  • led to a better understanding of the impact of health systems on people's health and therefore on economic growth in the WHO European Region;
  • took stock of recent evidence on effective strategies to improve the performance of health systems, given the increasing pressure on them to ensure sustainability and solidarity.

Over 500 participants attended, including ministers responsible for health, civil affairs, and finance and economic affairs from 52 of the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region, internationally recognized experts on health systems and representatives of international and civil-society organizations and the mass media.

At the Conference, WHO, Member States and a range of international partners adopted the Tallinn Charter: Health Systems for Health and Wealth. The Charter provides guidance and a strategic framework for strengthening health systems in the WHO European Region. It was endorsed by all European Member States at the WHO Regional Committee for Europe's session in Tbilisi in September 2008 (resolution EUR/RC58/R4).