Minister of Health of Latvia signs agreement with WHO/Europe

Ministry of Health, Latvia

Dr Guntis Belevics, Minister of Health of Latvia, and Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, signed a biennial collaborative agreement for 2016–2017 to continue Latvia's collaboration with WHO in line with the country's needs. 

The agreement has a strong focus on health system strengthening, though support implementing a diagnosis-related group payment system and e-health. It also aims to strengthen the role of primary health care services within an integrated, people-centred health care services delivery system based on the findings of the review "Ambulatory care sensitive conditions in Latvia".

In reproductive, maternal and child health, Latvia will continue its implementation of maternal and perinatal audits. It will also explore opportunities to improve school health services and continue participating in Health Behaviour in School-aged Children studies.

Noncommunicable diseases will be addressed through implementation of the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) and further implementation of nutrition guidelines for pregnant women. Violence against women, children and youth is addressed by strengthening cross-sectoral work.

Further support will be provided to the WHO National Healthy Cities Network in Latvia, which has proven to be an efficient platform for Health 2020 implementation at national and regional levels. About 60% of municipalities in Latvia are part of this Network.

Communicable diseases in Latvia will be addressed with support eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and via the Riga Declaration on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

This agreement will support the realization of Latvia's national health policies and plans, namely the Public Health Strategy 2014–2020, based on Health 2020 principles and values, with a strong focus on cross-sectoral collaboration.