Health 2020 implementation at subnational level in Turkey

Governorship of Elazığ

Aligning subnational health care priorities with European health policy commitments was the focus of a 2-day roundtable event organized in the province of Elazığ, Turkey in 17–18 December 2013. 

Day 1: implementation of the European policy framework Health 2020 

The Governor of Elaziğ, representatives from WHO, the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Directorate and provincial directorates of several other ministries gathered at the first day´s meeting to discuss the provincial government´s efforts to implement Health 2020.

The WHO Representative for Turkey introduced the meeting and commended the Governor's commitment to this goal: "You are close enough to your citizens to hear what they say and see what they need. You have the capacity to mobilize local resources from other sectors as a 'whole of society' approach to protect and promote the rights of all citizens, particularly those who are poor and vulnerable." 

Findings of the Elazığ Social Analysis Map guided the discussions, backed up by presentations from WHO experts on the social determinants of health and other public health issues including  noncommunicable diseases and risk factors, mental health and road safety and injuries prevention.

At the meeting, the WHO/Europe Region for Health Network invited Elazığ province to join the Network to coordinate its efforts with sister provinces across the WHO European Region and to thereby maximize health outcomes. The meeting was  broadcasted live by the local media. 

Day 2: improving mental health care

The second day of the event was dedicated to a European Union funded project on mental health and disability, for which Elazığ is one of the first pilot provinces. The project aims at improving community services for people living with mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities in line with the newly endorsed WHO European Mental Health Action Plan. The first plan to deinstitutionalize services in Elazığ was presented and discussed among government officials and representatives from WHO and the European Union.