Slovenian Minister of Health visits WHO/Europe
Ms Milojka Kolar Celarc, Minister of Health of Slovenia, made an official visit to WHO/Europe on 6 March 2015. Building on the strong existing collaboration between WHO and Slovenia, the visit provided an opportunity for Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, to explain the functions, programmes and new focus areas of the Organization, including the WHO reform process and implementation of Health 2020, the European policy framework for health and well-being. It also enabled the Minister to meet and discuss key health issues with senior WHO staff.
Dr Jakab congratulated the Minister on the country’s whole-of-government approach to addressing health issues and on applying the values and priorities of Health 2020 at the national level. The Regional Director also thanked Ms Celarc for her government’s financial and technical support for the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN).
Health reform in Slovenia
The Minister explained that health reform in Slovenia is a government priority. She requested WHO’s support in providing evidence to inform this process, through review and analysis of different aspects of the health system including health expenditure, programmes, performance assessment, good practice and recommendations.
The participants agreed that with its focus on upstream investment in prevention activities and the social determinants of health, in addition to treating the results of unhealthy lifestyles, Slovenia is already moving in the right policy direction. For example, a national strategy on nutrition and physical exercise has recently been launched for public discussion. This strategy was developed through a collaborative process involving all relevant government departments, reflecting a new way of working.