WHO supports ongoing efforts to strengthen hospital resilience in the Republic of Moldova
A joint WHO/Ministry of Health event dedicated to the inauguration of pilot projects on hospital resilience strengthening took place in the Republican Clinical Hospital on 15 May 2012. The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Health, representatives of the WHO Country Office and the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Disaster Medicine Centre, hospital managers and mass media.
The pilot projects presented are being implemented in 2011–2012 with WHO support, and focus on strengthening structural, non-structural and functional safety of selected priority hospitals in Chisinau and outside the capital city. Mitigation measures have been complemented by the development of an action plan on strengthening overall disaster resilience of the hospital sector, a national guide for health managers on planning actions for emergency response, as well as safety criteria for the accreditation of hospitals.
During the event, Dr Mihai Magdei, Deputy Minister of Health stated: "We are happy to have had WHO as a trusted partner in improving hospital safety during the past years. The piloted projects on consolidating the structural framework of the Communicable Disease Department in the Clinical Psychiatric Hospital, the provision of an electric generator to the Republican Clinical Hospital, updating the fire-prevention system in the National Scientific and Practical Centre of Emergency Medicine and simulation exercises in three district hospitals to test and adjust the preparedness and response capacities are extremely important for us as they demonstrate how hospital safety can be improved in practice with targeted investments."
Hospital safety high on the political agenda
"We hope these pilot projects will represent 'seed funding', and following this more substantial capital investments will be allocated to the hospital sector of the Republic of Moldova, both from budgetary resources and from donor funds, further increasing safety and sustainability including through decreasing the operating costs," said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative, adding: "WHO is ready to provide additional support in this priority area – first of all by building capacities of health managers at central and local levels in hospital disaster response planning and preparedness."
Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, WHO Regional Advisor said: "The Republic of Moldova represents a unique experience at regional and global level in terms of addressing hospital safety. Health authorities in the Republic of Moldova have been at the forefront in putting emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction for health high on the political agenda, resulting in tangible improvements of overall health system emergency preparedness. We look forward to further collaboratation with the Ministry of Health in this important area and will share good practice and lessons from the Moldovan experience with other countries."
WHO has been providing support in the area of disaster preparedness and response in Moldova since 2008. This effort began with a comprehensive baseline assessment of the country's health security and crisis management capacity and strengthening of the Disaster Medicine Centre under a project supported by the European Commission, Directorate for Health and Consumers.
Hospital safety has been on the agenda since 2009, when the Hospital Safety Index tool was piloted in three of the country's hospitals. This was followed by a comprehensive evaluation of the whole public hospital sector (comprising 66 hospitals) and a report produced in 2011.