Country-by-country profiles on national health situation relaunched


The first in a series of publications providing in-depth analyses of the health situation in Member States has been launched. Over the coming years, covering as many countries as possible, WHO/Europe will produce detailed profiles of the national health situation, based on the latest data available. The data are compared with those for specifically selected countries. Each profile is accompanied by a succinct "Highlights on health", which is designed for policy-makers, raising key policy issues and trends and providing an analysis of the information and evidence relative to the health situation of the country.

Written in collaboration with ministries of health, the new series is based on the Health 2020 indicators and provides insights into performance against Health 2020 targets and into implementation. The reports are also available via the European Health Information Gateway and its accompanying European Health Statistics App, with which data sets can be explored in more detail and compared with those for other countries.

Dr Claudia Stein, Director of the Division of information, data, evidence and innovation, said: "Working with Member States to get as clear a picture as possible of the health situation in a country is time well spent. It makes it possible to build on success and overcome difficulties, with the security of knowing you have a good solid evidence base. These reports are a unique tool for policy-makers."

Reports on Slovenia and the Republic of Moldova will be launched soon, and two further reports will appear before the end of the year.

Country profile on Greece launches series

The series is a revitalization of reports entitled "Highlights on health" that were produced from the mid-1990s onwards. This time, the aim is to produce reports on approximately five Member States per year. The first of the series is on Greece, and it will be launched at the Policy Dialogue on Primary Health Care, being held on Monday 9 May in Athens and organized jointly by WHO/Europe, the European Commission and the Ministry of Health of Greece. The event will be attended by Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and representatives of the Greek Ministry of Health and the European Commission. Many of the discussions on health care reform in Greece will be based on the content of the report.

Findings in the report on Greece 

The Greek country profile reports that the rate of premature mortality from diseases of the digestive system is the lowest of all the EU15 states. The rates of mortality from infectious diseases and suicide are also low, as is the maternal mortality rate, although slight increases have been observed in recent years.

The report outlines some of the challenges faced by the primary health care system in Greece, such as the low ratio of nurses to doctors for coping with the rapidly ageing population. The Policy Dialogue marks a positive step towards reforming the health system.

WHO/Europe is working closely with the Greek Ministry of Health to support reform to primary health care, using the country profile and highlights on health on Greece as part of the evidence base.