Health 2020 policy framework guides development of Poland’s future National Health Programme

On 14 November 2014 a conference about the European policy framework Health 2020 took place in Warsaw. WHO experts and specialists from national public health institutions in Poland gathered to discuss the future shape of Poland’s National Health Programme.
Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Health, Igor Radziewicz- Winnicki, opened the conference, highlighting the need for intersectoral collaboration to improve the general state of health of the Polish population. This was followed by a welcome speech by the Head of the WHO Country Office in Poland, Dr Paulina Miskiewicz.
The National Public Health Programme for 2007–2015 was presented and long-term plans for future programmes were proposed by Dariusz Poznański from the Ministry. Dr Richard Alderslade of WHO introduced the Health 2020 framework, its aims and the challenges and opportunities that should be considered while adopting it. Dr Iwona Kowalska and Dr Anna Mokrzycka of the Institute of Public Health in Cracow, presented challenges faced by the Polish health care system in realizing the Health 2020 framework. Lack of legislation was noted as a major obstacle, as improvement in this area would clarify leadership and governance in public health and improve intersectoral action in reducing health inequalities. Finally, Dr Johanna Hanefeld recommended tackling social determinants based on strong evidence-based data, better intersectoral cooperation and more action on the prevention level in order to reduce health inequalities.
The meeting ended with a Question and Answer session, moderated by Professor Mirosław Wysocki with Dr Iwona Kowalska, Dr Dorota Cianciara and Professor Bolesław Samoliński contributing as a panel. During the discussion the need for public health legislation was again highlighted. The challenges of the polish health care system were pointed out in order to take them into consideration when planning the future National Health Programme. It was agreed that greater cooperation among intersectoral stakeholders and strengthening prevention methods are needed in order to take prompt and effective action on the discussed issues.