Workshop on primary health care performance in the context of changing health needs

30 March 2017, Almaty, Kazakhstan

In response to the changing burden of disease, increasing demand for health services and rising health care costs, many countries have accelerated the development of primary health care, aiming to bring responsive, cost-effective health services closer to the population. The WHO Regional Office for Europe supports this call, with its focus on strengthening people-centred health systems and people-centred integrated health services, which are grounded in the goals of Health 2020 and the Alma-Ata Declaration. Both WHO and Member States recognize that primary health care plays an important role in moving towards universal health coverage and improving health outcomes, as well as economic and social development.

As countries seek to strengthen primary health care, they are increasingly seeking measures to assess its performance. Such performance measurement, however, requires different approaches than those used in the hospital sector, as strong primary health care performance is defined by a high degree of person centeredness, accessibility, continuity, comprehensiveness, coordination and integration.
On 30 March WHO/Europe, through the WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care, will hold a one-day technical workshop in collaboration with the Northern Dimension Partnership for Public Health and Social Well-being. This aims to discuss first-hand national experiences of measuring and assessing primary health care performance and how this informs policy decisions at the local, regional and national levels. It is hoped that this will provide useful and timely insights for improving accountability and, overall, governance of the health system.

The main objectives of the workshop are to:

  • present data collected on dimensions and indicators used to assess primary health care performance in countries, highlighting similarities and differences;
  • discuss how these indicators and dimensions capture and reflect primary health care performance in regards to overall changing health needs; and
  • present and discuss processes used to inform health policies and decision-making at the local, regional and national levels.