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Monday, July 16, 2012

High-level meeting on health workforce mobility challenges and policy options in Republic of Moldova

Photo: WHO

A technical meeting on "Strengthening the health workforce knowledge base to support evidence-informed health policies" took place in Chisinau, 28–29 June 2012. Participants examined the role of statistical data and information systems on generating evidence for decision-making on human resources for health, and reviewed the findings from a recent European Union study on health workforce mobility in Europe.

The meeting was organized by WHO/Europe in collaboration with the South-eastern Europe Health Network and hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova. It brought to the attention of decision-makers in the Republic of Moldova the challenges and policy options of health workforce planning to match population health needs.

Representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also reviewed the progress of the newly established Regional Health Development Center (RHDC) on Human Resources for Health (HRH), hosted by the National Center on Health Management in Chisinau. They were further informed about the development, contribution, roles and functions of HRH observatories (based on recommendations from the July 2011 WHO global meeting on HRH observatories in Lisbon, Portugal), and progress in implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.

Human resources mobility project
The workshop served as the kick-off meeting of a three-year project on health workforce mobility in the Republic of Moldova funded by the European Union and coordinated by WHO. The project aims to help the Ministry of Health better manage health workforce migration and mobility by fostering circular migration and mitigating the effects of brain drain and waste. The Republic of Moldova is also the lead country in regional cooperation related to human resources for health issues in south-eastern Europe.

Speaking at the workshop, Dr Andrei Usatîi, Minister of Health of the Republic of Moldova, said: "The problems of human resources for health are not limited to one country, but extend beyond the boundaries of a single state and have joint features, especially regional. To respond to this big challenge, the Ministry of Health approved the Framework Concept for Human Resources Development, elaborated an Action Plan for implementation of the development programme for medical and pharmacy education in the Republic of Moldova for 2012–2020 and established in 2011 the Department for the Analysis and Planning of Human Resources for Health at the National Center of Health Management".

For more details on the meeting and to download presentations from the meeting, please visit the webpage of the SEE RHDC on HRH by clicking here.

Self-sufficiency in organ donation a step closer in south-eastern Europe

Photo: Ministry of Health, Croatia
Health ministers and high-level officials from the 10 countries in the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) attended the First Regional Ministerial Conference on Organ Donation and Transplantation “Heart to the Region” – Beating towards Self-Sufficiency, in Zagreb, Croatia on 4 June.

The Conference was opened by Mr Ivo Josipovic, President of Croatia, and Dr Hans Kluge, Director, Division of Health Systems and Public Health at WHO/Europe, on behalf of the WHO Regional Director for Europe. At the opening, Dr Kluge commended the President for applying a whole-of-government approach to health, in line with the new European health policy framework, Health 2020.

“Croatia would like to highlight the importance of the highly complex and challenging field of organ donation and transplantation, in which remarkable progress has been made. We hope that the experience and tangible results achieved to date for the benefit of our citizens can serve as a role model for other SEEHN countries facing similar needs, opportunities, and challenges,” commented Professor Rajko Ostojić, Minister of Health of Croatia.

The goal of the Conference was to establish political support and strong commitment to further strengthen the implementation of successful programmes for organ donation and transplantation, based on the WHO Madrid Resolution on Organ Donation and Transplantation, WHO guiding principles, the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism, quality and safety standards, and the European Union (EU) Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation.

During panel discussions, ministers highlighted what were the strong economic and ethical grounds for an effective organ transplantation programme, how to implement EU safety and quality standards and how countries in the region could cooperate long term, and share good practices and experience.

Croatia officially inaugurated the regional health development centre on organ donation and transplantation in south-eastern European countries in February 2011.

The Conference was followed by the twenty-ninth meeting of SEEHN.

29th Meeting of the South-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) in Zagreb, on 04-05 June 2012

The Croatian Presidency of the south-eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) (January-June 2012) is organizing its 29th Meeting in Zagreb, on 04-05 June 2012. This event  will be attended by representatives of the SEE Health Network Member States, the partner countries international organization, as well as Heads of the SEEHN Regional Health Development Centres (RHDC).

The Meeting is continuation of the 28th extraordinary meeting of the SEEHN held in Brussels, on 13-14 March 2012 with the main objective to establish, start and develop the process of the implementation of the Banja Luka Ministerial Pledge (2011). It builds upon conclusions endorsed by the 28th Meeting.

The purpose of the meeting will be to:
  1. Establish the operational Secretariat for the Network as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Network and the Government of Republic of Macedonia.
  2. Elect new members of the Executive Committee based on Protocol for election developed by the Secretariat and the MoU Terms of Reference.
  3. Establish a working group for developing the SEEHN Communication Strategy
  4. Establish a working group for developing Protocol for operation of the RHDCs, based on the SEEHN basic documents.
  5. Develop a joint agenda with relevant RCC initiatives  Signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the International Network of Health promoting Hospitals and Services (HPH) and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to  establish  working cooperation of mutual benefit in view of the similarity of some of the activities between the entities; an initial discussion to be held regarding the steps to be taken for the practical implantation of this agreement.
  6. Make practical arrangements with EHFG with the aim in particular to organize a an SEE High Level Forum in Bad-Gadstein in October 2012; the draft components of the Programme to be discussed – with the focus on the implementation of Aquis Communitaire. The issues of participation and funding to be discussed and resolved.
  7. Discuss and agree on a joint action plan and practical arrangements for the cooperation with EuroHealthNet.
  8. Discuss and agree on knowhow and capacity building in support of the Banja Luka Pledge based on the preliminary ideas and practical possibilities presented by experts (WHO/Europe; Office for Investment for Health and development) focusing on distance learning.
  9. Adopt the program of the next Presidency and Calendar of Events for the period June-December 2012.

State of Israel takes over the SEEHN Presidency for next 6 months

Staring on 1 July 2012, the State of Israel takes over the SEEHN Presidency until 31 December 2012. This is the first time that Israel holds the presidency since it joined the SEEHN as a member in October 2011, just prior to the Third Forum of the Ministers of Health of the SEE region.

The President of the SEEHN for this period is the Minister of Health of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The SEEHN National Health Coordinator for the State of Israel is:
Prof Alex Leventhal
SEEHN Israeli Presidency
2 Ben Tabai St. POB 1176
Jerusalem 93591