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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SEEHN statement on Strategy and Action Plan on Healthy Ageing during WHO RC62, Malta

Joint Statement
Of the South East European Health Network
on Draft resolution Strategy and action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./4, Malta, September 2012

Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the floor.

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 10 member States of the SEE Health Network, who have associated themselves with this statement: Albania, Bulgaria. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Israel, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

There is no doubt in the European Region of WHO concerning the issue of aging. We have to look at the extension of longevity of human life as a sign of success not only for the improved social and economic situation of our citizens and residents. But we have to put on high pedestal the contribution of public health and primary care services and the health care services as a whole. One can survey our clinics and hospitals, not mentioned the rehabilitation centers, in order to realize that the patient- mix is changing and the population is graying. In the same time the old population has become more and more active and the old olds are suffering from NCD and the health care resources are spend on them.

Therefore the SEE HN would like to complement the secretariat for the "Strategy and action plan for healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020" which is published in the document EUR/RC62/10. We find the approach expressed in the document comprehensive, taking into consideration the whole walks of life of the elderly citizens: it has the right balance between prevention of both communicable and non communicable diseases, secondary and tertiary prevention in order to give not only "more years to life" but also "more life to years" as the old slogan of WHO has reiterated.

All this is well reflected in the Draft resolution Strategy and action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 EUR/RC62/Conf.Doc./4.

Furthermore the document and the draft resolution reflect the new culture which should be adopted in the WHO/Euro – it is well connected in synergy .with the Health 2020 Strategy and the public health Action Plan. This important strategy that applies to the fast growing sub-population in Europe, is an excellent example how to curve different strategies in the future. The secretariat and the experts from the various MS who have contributed to the strategy and the document should be praised by all of us. The proof of the strategy is in the implementation. It is the core business both of the WHO/Euro Headquarters as well as the individual MS and the question is to find the proper resources in times of economic crisis like that one we are living in..

In conclusion: the Member States of the SEEHN are associated themselves with the strategy and the action plan on healthy ageing in Europe, 2012–2020 and is endorsing the draft resolution.

Thank you Mr. Chairman!