Collaboration on primary health care strengthened

WHO Collaborating Centre on Primary Health Care, Ghent University, Belgium

Three WHO collaborating centres on primary health care – in Belgium, Croatia and the Netherlands – have committed themselves to joint work on a range of issues, including developments in mental health and noncommunicable diseases, the links between primary and secondary care, and inequities in health care by disease.

In some health systems, the diagnosis of the patient affects access to services and the quality of care provided. Part of the joint work on inequities in health care will be to compile an inventory of such cases, as well as holding workshops and ultimately issuing a concept paper on the issue.

Staff of the three centres met in October to become better acquainted with each other’s work and explore options for collaboration. They agreed to meet annually to share ideas and information on their work, and set up joint activities.

The three centres are: the Andrija Štampar School of Public Health in Zagreb, Croatia, designated a WHO collaborating centre for primary care in 1983; the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) in Utrecht, designated in 1987; and the International Centre of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine, Ghent University in Belgium, designated in 2010.

Andrija Štampar Medal

The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) awarded Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, the Andrija Štampar Medal in the field of public health on 10 November 2011.

Accepting the award, Ms Jakab stated, “Dr Štampar was there when this very positive notion of health was written into the WHO definition of health in 1948, and I am determined that we shall follow that lead when we develop the new European health policy, Health 2020. I want health and well-being to be thought of as some of the guiding goals and principles of societies and governments, and I feel sure that Dr Štampar would agree.”