HEALTH21: the health for all policy framework for the WHO European Region






European Health for All Series No. 6
1999, xi + 224 pages
ISBN 92 890 1349 4
This publication is only available online.

Since 1980, in spite of their many differences, the 51 countries comprising WHO's European Region have embraced a common policy framework for health development that sets clear targets and outlines strategies that can be used to turn national policies into practical operational programmes at local level. This current major revision of the policy, approved by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 1998, is the result of extensive scientific analysis and of consultations with all Member States and numerous major organizations in the Region, and sets the agenda until the next revision planned for 2005.

The HEALTH21 policy’s one constant goal is to achieve full health potential for all people in the Region, with two main aims: to promote and protect people’s health throughout their lives; and to reduce the incidence of the main diseases and injuries and alleviate the suffering they cause. Three basic values form its ethical foundation: health as a fundamental human right, equity in health and solidarity in action, and participation and accountability for continued health development. Four main strategies for action have been chosen to ensure that scientific, economic, social and political sustainability drive the implementation of HEALTH21. Finally, 21 targets for the 21st century have been set that specifically spell out the needs of the entire Region and suggest the necessary actions to improve the situation. These will provide the benchmarks against which to measure progress, together constituting an inspirational framework for developing health for all policies in the countries of the Region.