Review of public health capacities and services in the European Region




This document aims to provide an overview of the current status of public health services across the WHO European Region, in order to strengthen the development of future public health services and capacities. It aims to underpin and complement the European Action Plan for Strengthening Public Health Capacities and Services (EAP). The information is derived from assessments of public health services in 41 of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region. Across the Region, the strongest public health responses are for surveillance, monitoring, emergency planning, immunization, environmental health and health protection. Weaker areas of response include health promotion and action to address inequalities and the wider determinants of health; surveillance to address NCDs is also weak. Governance, workforce development, financing and communications are also less well developed across the Region; this pattern is found especially in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

This report is part of a series of three studies being conducted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. These are a review of policy and legislation instruments and tools for public health; a “snapshot” review of organizational models for delivering essential public health operations (EPHOs) and public health services; and a summary of country assessments of public health capacities and services. These studies support the development of the EAP, and will be presented as information documents at the WHO Regional Committee’s sixty-second session in Malta in 2012.