WHO has worked with many Member States on various areas of policy to assist them in navigating through the crisis. This work, as well as an in-depth examination of selected countries and the results of a survey on how countries have responded to the crisis by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and WHO, was presented at a recent conference on health systems and the economic crisis (17–18 April Oslo).
During the conference in Oslo, the negative impact that the crisis has on health was analysed. In times of economic crisis restriction and limitations on national spending are unavoidable. Yet services (such as health care, education, social benefits) that ensure equity and economic growth should be supported. In order to ensure better governance, health specialists should be a part of negotiations on macroeconomic policies, social policy-making process and austerity measures.
Many health reforms have been introduced in times of crisis in order to increase efficiency of health systems. Key areas of those reforms were:
WHO/Europe will consult with Member States to develop a series of policy recommendations to be submitted for endorsement to the sixty-third session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2013.
EPHA welcomes the political commitment given to the health impacts of fiscal consolidation measures. EPHA Secretary General Monika Kosinska participated in the WHO Ministerial conference. The recommendations of health Ministries and exerts are in line with EPHA proposals for health system reform. EPHA will continue to be a constructive partner in the debate on the impacts of economic governance on health and this will be one of the issues dealt with at the 2013 EPHA Annual Conference.
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