Public health and sustainable development on the agenda of the National Health Forum
The adaptation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the Moldovan national context, financial protection in health care, effective response to noncommunicable diseases, and hospital and public health reforms were the major topics on the agenda of the fourth National Health Forum that took place on 26–27 November 2015 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.
The National Health Forum brought together about 350 representatives from the health sector, decision-makers and managers of healthcare facilities, representatives of Parliament and Government, a European Union delegation, municipal and local public authorities, diplomatic missions, partners, and the international and donor community.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova with WHO support provided under the WHO/Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Project "Support to strengthening governance and policy dialogue in the health sector" and the WHO/European Union initiative on national health policies, strategies and plans and universal health coverage.
Complex interventions needed
Mrs Ruxanda Glavan, acting Minister of Health, stressed in her opening speech, "The health system of the Republic of Moldova must respond to all current challenges and commitments to citizens. Therefore, we need to identify new mechanisms of cooperation between different sectors at central and local levels, and with partners and international organizations. To ensure the sustainable development of society and to reduce health inequalities, there is a need for complex interventions, intersectoral approach and implementation of efficient methods for establishing and delivering health services."
Speakers from national and local levels were engaged in a dialogue on the status of health and the development agenda, referring especially to the:
- achievements in the health sector for 2014–2015, as well as opportunities for further improvements;
- health and socio-economic development, such as national development processes and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
- whole-of-government approach to control noncommunicable diseases at national and local levels;
- enhancements to the health system through financing policies and provision of health services; and
- strengthened public health services.
A special session was dedicated to the comprehensive approach in the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, where 2 case studies – intervention for alcohol control and acute myocardial infarction audits in hospitals – were presented and discussed.
Haris Hajrulahovic, WHO Representative to the Republic of Moldova, highlighted WHO's support saying, "The WHO Regional Office for Europe remains fully committed to support the Ministry of Health and Government of the Republic of Moldova in their efforts to improve the health and well-being of the population, reduce health inequalities, strengthen public health and ensure a people-centred health system that is universal, equitable, sustainable and of high quality."
Panel discussions and sessions for questions and answers provided a good opportunity for dialogue and to discuss challenges in the health system.
Health Forum Resolution
Participants adopted a Health Forum Resolution, which contains 10 action points as an outcome document of the two-day deliberations. These commitments cover:
- integrating the SDGs into national policies;
- strengthening continuously the health promotion and disease prevention activities with focus on noncommunicable diseases to enhance interventions both at public health and primary health care levels;
- developing the integrated health information system; and
- progressing further on hospital and public health system reform agendas.