Meeting report. Improving the performance of health service delivery/putting patients at the centre of health systems

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The second preparatory meeting for the WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems was held in Bled, Slovenia on 19 and 20 November 2007, hosted by the Government of Slovenia. Representatives of 46 of the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region, as well as European experts in the field of health systems and representatives of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank (WB), took part in the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was threefold: to provide an update on preparations for the Ministerial Conference; to review evidence on strategies to improve the performance of health service delivery and establish recommendations for the Conference; and to discuss a preliminary draft of a health systems charter. With reference to health service delivery, the meeting focused attention on primary care, integrating vertical programmes into horizontal health system structures, empowering health service users, and strategies to ensure coordination and continuity of care.