Moldovan public health specialists study service delivery in Estonia and Finland


Moldovan delegation at the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

Key public health stakeholders from the Republic of Moldova visited Estonia and Finland on 28 November–5 December 2012 to learn more about the delivery of essential public health operations at national and local levels and to establish collaboration networks in both countries.

The Moldovan mission focused on: 

  • main functions of the Finnish and Estonian public health services and institutions in prevention and control of public health issues at national and local levels;
  • mechanisms for financing public health operations and services; 
  • Finnish experiences with the North Karelia health promotion project.

The study visit is part of national efforts in the Republic of Moldova to complete the national public health strategy and reorganize the Public Health Service. It was organized by the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova in close partnership with the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and the WHO Country Office in Estonia, and undertaken as part of a technical assistance programme funded by the European Union. This programme is coordinated by WHO and related to the budget support provided to the Republic of Moldova.

The Moldovan delegation comprised ten key public health stakeholders, including representatives of the Ministry of Health, National Centre of Public Health, School of Management in Public Health and three regional centres of public health, as well as representative of the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova. The group was led by Octavian Grama, Deputy Minister of Health.


The Moldova delegation was joined in Estonia by representatives of Border Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Customs Service. The specialists were familiarized with the main tasks and functions of:

  • the Ministry of Social Affairs and its Public Health Department;
  • the Health Board;
  • National Institute for Health Development;
  • Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Haapsalu County;
  • Tallinn University Haapsalu College;
  • Noarootsi Municipality.


The Moldovan delegation visited the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, where participants were familiarized with:

  • the main functions of the Ministry in development and coordination of public health policies;
  • the role and functions of different actors in the national public health system; 
  • surveillance and control of communicable and noncommunicable diseases;
  • health promotion activities;
  • health protection services.

The group also visited:

  • North Karelia Center for Public Health, to learn about activities and results of the North Karelia Project;
  • Joensuu Health Centre regarding health care services and the health care network; and 
  • Karjalainen newspaper regarding its health promotion activities.

In separate groups, the delegation also focused on health protection activities, implementation of International Heath Regulations and health promotion and prevention activities.

Development of the national public health strategy

The national public health strategy is nearing completion, and the final draft will be presented for approval in early 2013. The strategy is being developed based on results of a self-evaluation survey of public health operations in the Republic of Moldova and is in line with the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services, as well as the new European health policy Health 2020.