Regional Director commends Catalonia’s multisectoral public health plan

On 14 February 2014, the Regional Government of Catalonia, Spain, held a conference to introduce its Interdepartmental Plan for Public Health of Catalonia (PINSAP) to policy-makers, leaders and stakeholders from across the public and private sectors in the region. PINSAP aims to increase the number of years of healthy life of the population of Catalonia, and incorporate health into the design and evaluation of all public policies. It was developed with particular focus on addressing social inequalities and the effects of the economic crisis on health.

“This plan is fully in line with WHO’s European health policy framework, Health 2020, supporting action across government and society for health and well-being. … There is a role for all, and I greatly appreciate your commitment to a collaborative way forward here in Catalonia,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, during a keynote address at the event.

The Regional Director emphasized the importance of addressing health inequalities, and moving health interventions upstream – emphasizing health promotion, disease prevention, and primary health care, and tackling noncommunicable diseases in a comprehensive way – to improve health across Europe.

The President of the Regional Government of Catalonia, the health minister and all the other ministers of the Regional Government also took part in the conference.

PINSAP

PINSAP includes action by different ministries in 14 areas to extend years of healthy life and integrate health into all government policy-making, including: mobility, food and diet, the environment, employment, urban planning and housing, education, culture and leisure, health care, social policies, data and research, and commitment to the community. Specific action to address mobility, for example, involves 4 ministries in promoting active mobility through walking (improving pavements and paths to school) and cycling (establishing bicycle lanes, community bicycle services and repurposing disused railway lines as paths and bicycle lanes) as parts of everyday life and leisure time.

An interdepartmental health council, including representatives from all departments of the Regional Government of Catalonia and led by the Secretary for Public Health, was created to implement PINSAP. In addition, a task force established by the Department of Health identified the main policies and interventions that influence health and proposed the areas for intersectoral action.