Hungary’s Minister of Health visits WHO/Europe
On 5 December 2014, Dr Gábor Zombor, Minister of State for Health at the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary, discussed a range of health issues with Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, during an official visit to WHO/Europe.
Expressing her support for the Government’s leadership on public health issues in Hungary, Zsuzsanna Jakab made reference to the new national health plan for 2014–2020 “For a healthier nation”, which is soon being put forward for adoption at the national level. The Regional Director also explained that WHO would provide support in implementing the plan, in particular its multisectoral elements, and in linking primary health care and public health.
Dr Zombor outlined some of the specific recent and anticipated developments in public health in Hungary, including investment in more cardiology centres, a tax on unhealthy foods, smoking legislation, initiatives to integrate physical activity into everyday life and screening for colon cancer.
Key areas of collaboration between the Ministry and WHO/Europe for 2014–2015 include:
- Developing a profile and study of the social determinants of health and health investment in order to reduce social inequalities in health;
- Using Hungary as a pilot country for the Evidence-Informed Policy Network so as to link health policy planning with evidence;
- Undertaking a health and financial impact assessment of taxation policies for harmful products, such as tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods, that also generate revenue for health care;
- Establishing a new WHO collaborating centre on human resources for health to address the serious human workforce crises and shortage of health professionals, in particular at the primary care level; and
- Expanding dialogue on the health financing policy framework for revenue collection that has been developed, involving health policy decision-makers and policy-makers responsible for economic policy.
The Hungarian delegation also met senior management at WHO/Europe.