WHO/Europe has launched an interdivisional work programme entitled "Better noncommunicable disease outcomes: challenges and opportunities for health systems". The programme is jointly led by the Division of Health Systems and Public Health and the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Promoting Health through the Life-course.

The overarching aim of the work programme is to produce contextualized, pragmatic and implementable policy recommendations to improve NCD outcomes through a comprehensive health system response. The programme consists of:

  • multidisciplinary country assessments of the health system response to NCDs as an entry point to policy development;
  • collection of good practices from across the WHO European Region to highlight experiences of scaling-up NCD core interventions and services through a health system response;
  • policy papers on cross-cutting health system strengthening issues that are on the agenda of many countries of the Region such as affordability and quality of medicines for chronic conditions etc.; and
  • capacity building through the annual Flagship Course on Health System Strengthening and NCDs, and providing tailored support for exchange of information and know-how.

This programme is aligned with the principles and strategic objectives of Health 2020, the European policy framework, and contributes towards the implementation of 2 of its 4 priority areas: tackling noncommunicable diseases (priority 2) and strengthening people-centred health systems (priority 3).