WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems: “Health Systems, Health and Wealth”, Tallinn, Estonia, 25–27 June 2008. Report (2008)






2009, iv + 74 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 1413 7

The WHO European Ministerial Conference on Health Systems was organized in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2008 by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and hosted by the Government of Estonia. Over 500 participants attended, including ministers responsible for health, civil affairs, and finance and economic affairs from 52 of the 53 Member States in the WHO European Region, internationally recognized experts on health systems and representatives of international and civil-society organizations and the mass media. The Conference was a major turning point in the evolution of public health.

This report describes how the participants explored the dynamic relationships between health systems, health and wealth and discussed the four functions of health systems (service delivery, financing, creation of the health workforce and other inputs, and stewardship/governance). It concludes by detailing how WHO, Member States and a range of international partners made political commitments to strengthen health systems, ultimately adopting the Tallinn Charter: Health Systems for Health and Wealth.

While the Conference gave both visibility and credibility to the subject, the follow-up to the event will drive the improvement of health systems' performance. This includes the endorsement of the Charter by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2008, the development of tools to improve performance assessment and the publication of this report to spread the word. Readers will find this report a useful tool in the implementation phase, started by the Charter's adoption, whose aim is to increase health and wealth by strengthening health systems in Europe.