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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Address by SEEHN President, Dr Konstantinov, Minister of Health of Bulgaria

Dear South-eastern Europe Health Network Members and Partners,

Colleagues and friends,

I am honoured to address you as a current SEE Health Network President.

First, let me note that the Bulgarian Presidency is being held at a historical stage of the SEE Health Network institutionalization and the enhanced regional cooperation in South-eastern Europe in the field of public health.

I am pleased to point out that since its inception the South-eastern Europe Health Network has made important progress. Moreover, with the kind political, technical and financial support from its partner countries and international organizations the SEEHN contributed to improving the health of the populations in the region and managed to take over ownership of the regional cooperation for health under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council and the South East Europe Co-operation Process.

We are all politically aware of the fact that building up regional ownership in public health and the necessary institutional capacities is a process and we still have important tasks to fulfill. In my judgment, we must carefully look at where we are today and realize that without political commitment it is not possible to enhance regional ownership and give the regional cooperation in health more visibility.

I would also like to stress that although at different levels health systems in the SEE region are facing common important challenges in delivering equal, efficient and high quality health services in circumstances of limited recourses and steadily increasing expenditures. On the other hand, the complex and rapidly changing public health landscape needs concerted efforts and will for global and regional partnership.

In this context, I would like to express my hope that by joining our efforts we will continue working together to ensure sustainability of the regional cooperation for health and ultimately to achieve the more ambitious strategic goal: the move from regional ownership to regional leadership.

Dr. Stefan Konstantinov
Minister of Health of Bulgaria
SEEHN President (Jan-Jun 2011)
You can read or download the letter of Minister Konstantinov here.