Integration and modernization of public health services underway in Slovakia
As part of comprehensive efforts to strengthen its health system, Slovakia conducted an assessment of public health services using a WHO self-assessment tool based on the 10 Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO).
From June 2012 to June 2013, public health services were analysed to identify strengths and weaknesses. The assessment showed that public health services in Slovakia are strong in “traditional operations”, but investment is needed to strengthen the integration of public health services and to reduce inequalities across the country. This analysis formed the basis for development of a detailed strategy for their reform and for further integration of disease prevention and health promotion services at the primary health care level.
In October 2013, policy options for reforming, streamlining, modernizing and upgrading the individual and population-based public health services were discussed and agreed upon at a national consensus conference.
Moving towards a whole-of-society approach
Like other countries in the Region, Slovakia faces challenges related to the infrastructure and operation of public health services. Along with standard functions like prevention of communicable diseases, it is essential to have a wide range of services and skilled staff in place to control noncommunicable diseases and ensure proper implementation of the International Health Regulations. An intersectoral whole-of-society approach to achieve the best possible health for all citizens is needed.
WHO/Europe will continue to provide technical assistance to improve the legislative framework and build sufficient capacities for an integrated approach to public health services in the areas of health protection, disease prevention and health promotion. Health 2020 will be applied as an overarching policy framework and its main components will be adapted in accordance with national priorities.