High-level regional meeting: Health Systems Respond to NCDs

16–18 April 2018, Sitges (Barcelona), Spain

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death, disease and disability in the WHO European Region. They are, however, also largely preventable.

Responding to NCDs is a challenge to health systems in all countries. On 16–18 April, high-level representatives from the 53 Member States in the Region, relevant international organizations and selected nongovernmental organizations will meet in Sitges (Barcelona), Spain, for an in-depth look at good practices for strengthening health systems and scaling up NCD interventions.

The high-level meeting will provide a platform for sharing country experiences, celebrating successes, and inspiring action for accelerating health systems transformation to reduce premature NCD mortality.

Meeting objectives

The meeting will present pragmatic and easy-to-act-on policy recommendations for a comprehensive and coherent health systems response to NCDs. Country examples of best practices will illustrate effective policy actions, such as fiscal tools that lead to better nutrition, financial rewards that spur primary health-care physicians to reach service provision targets, and effective citizen participation and community action to reduce NCDs.

WHO/Europe will also present an evidence-informed vision for a comprehensive health systems response to NCDs in a report that synthesizes country work from the last 5 years.

The meeting and its plenary sessions will be organized around 4 overarching objectives:

  • to reflect on the presented vision for a health systems response to NCDs ;
  • to highlight the equity and gender dimensions of health systems transformation for better NCD outcomes, including those left behind by traditional, mainstream approaches;
  • to explore the possibility of accelerating health systems transformation for faster reductions in premature mortality related to NCDs; and
  • to tease out factors that have enabled successful, large-scale health system transformations.

Expected outcome

The high-level meeting will result in an agreement on the vision of transforming health systems by implementing a comprehensive approach to premature NCD mortality.

The conclusions of the meeting will be captured in an outcome document that will feed into the third United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2018, and will be presented at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.